We only spent one day in Ankara, we arrived late and left early so didn’t have a lot of time for sight seeing. We spent most of the time organising visas for the next few places we were going to pass through that required them: Azerbaijan and Iran.
Our host Ahmet was really helpful. He was an enthusiastic cyclists who was hoping to go on longer tours himself, and had even set up a sort of scout society in his university. He took us into the centre and found a place to get our passport photos taken and scanned. He even took us out to see the mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. The place was huge and really quite imposing, it looked like a Roman temple via the Soviet Union.
Along with the huge building was a museum, called the museum of independence, which showed of Ataturks life and accomplishment. We weren’t aloud to take many photos, but this one should give you an idea of the feel of the place.
Im going to go into how we went about getting our visas as I know from experience that up to date info can be very valuable when it comes to getting visas in the road. We haven’t actually received any of them yet though, so I’ll hold of going through what we did until we have visas in hand.
We also took Ahmet (or rather he took us as he found the place) to watch his first game of Rugby called in an Irish pub Dubh Linn to watch it Italy game. He got into it and at the end said he was going to follow and support Ireland for the rest of the World Cup and watch all the games.
On the day we left the old leaving city curse struck again as I lost my wallet. I reckon it flew out of my handlebar bag on the road out if town, but even doubling back and looking for it we couldn’t find it. This put us a bit behind schedule, but we did manage to make it out of the city limits this time (unlike our terrible attempt to get out of Istanbul) and found a small park by a lake to set up at for the night. Some guards came patrolling by shortly after sunset. We hadn’t set up the bivvys yet, just sitting out in the benches but it was clear we were going to sleep there. They didn’t kick us out though, they led us to where they thought would be a safe place to sleep for the night, behind some trees.