16.08.2011 - 16.08.2011 36 °C
Slept in and had breakfast at about 8.30 am. Caught a taxi to the old Australian Embassy where Phil used to work. It is now a derelict building.
Continued on to the current Australian Embassy. It is located on a floor in a high rise office block, not what you imagine an embassy should look like. We went in and met the locally engaged Immigration staff and the PMO Stephen Weeks. Pembe was away due to the death of her mother. We were very sorry we didn't get to see her as we had such a fun time with her when she came to Australia, ages ago. Then she looked like Cher and turned heads wherever she went.
We caught a taxi to a big tall tower and went up to the observation deck and had a 360 degree view of Ankara. Phil is simply amazed at how much it has grown but what do you expect in 35 years! Wherever we are in the world, we always go up the top of the highest building or tower. It's just a thing that we do.
While we were at the Australian Embassy, they phoned Pegasus Airlines to check our flight to Izmir tomorrow and discovered it had been cancelled, so we went back to the hotel to phone the airline and work something out. We were offered 8.35 am or 8.30 pm so we chose 8.35 am but unfortunately it will mean an early rise at 5.15 am to get to the airport. We had tried not to have any more early flights. Oh well, at least we have a flight!
We then caught a taxi to Ulus, an ancient part of Ankara and walked through the steep cobblestone streets.
We climbed up the top of the Citadel, the old city fortress,
then caught a taxi to Attaturk's mausoleum. What a fabulous huge thing. It is enormous. We saw the changing of the guard - goose stepping and Attaturk's marble coffin. We went through the museum which was also huge, but very well laid out and interesting.
The weather is warm, but not humid and there is always a breeze. It is lovely. We missed out on lunch, so when we came back to the hotel, we went to the cafe over the road and had a toasted cheese sandwich that Phil had been raving about ever since we got to Turkey. Well, it was exactly that - a toasted cheese sandwich and pretty bland at that. It's amazing how the memory exaggerates things over 35 years.
Had a rest for an hour or so and then got dressed and went down for Happy Hour - buy one, get one free, then went to the hotel dining room for dinner. We sat outside on the terrace - very nice. Not many local restaurants around this area - like Istanbul.
The taxis here are plentiful and everywhere. It's very easy to get one. They drive like maniacs and don't speak English. There are no road rules. Not many seat belts in the taxis either. Whenever I find one that works, I put it on.