15.08.2011 - 15.08.2011 31 °C
Up early and had breakfast on the terrace with the lovely view of the water and the mosques. Taxi to the ferry, no waiting, straight on and off to the other side to the railway station. Everything went so smoothly that we were on the train to Eskishir at 9.00 am and it wasn't leaving until 10.30 am!! Best to be early as you can never know what holdups you may encounter.
Our carriage was 90% full and the seats were large and comfortable with plenty of room. The train was supposed to arrive at Eskishir at 2.30 pm, where we were to connect with the very fast train to Ankara, leaving at 3.00 pm. We were told that our train was running 30 minutes late, so the conductor phoned ahead and got them to hold the train for us. Our train arrived at 3.03 pm and luckily our train was waiting on the same platform and left at 3.09 pm! It was a nice train too and got to 254 km an hour. We arrived in Ankara at 4.36 pm and got a taxi to our hotel. The Dedeman Hotel. The hotel is very nice and up to our standards. They even said the turkish bath was free, so we'll have to check that out tomorrow.
Phil was posted to Ankara in the early seventies with the Department of Immigration, hence our visit now. We went for a walk and found the old Buke Ankara had been renovated into a magnificent hotel. This was a favourite haunt of the Aussies in the seventies. Caught a taxi and found Phil's old apartment. The driver couldn't speak English but a man in the street told him where we wanted to do, but he took us to the wrong place, so we came back to the hotel.
Got some Voltaran for Phil's sore leg and went into a restaurant for a pizza. It was thick crust and they had modern music blaring out so loud. I was glad to get out of there! None of the waiters spoke English but we finally found one who did and he helped us with the menu. Not very impressed with Ankara yet. It could be a city anywhere. Very hilly!