Ankara Citadel

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 2007

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Friday, September 15, 2006

We went to the Ankara Citadel today. This citadel (castle) is very unique because while there are dozens and dozens of castles in the world, this citadel is one of two in the whole world still being used for residency. I was amazed at the tiny village that still existed inside the castle walls. Most of the walls are still original Roman walls, they even have the original carvings in some of the stones. OF course, the people in this village are very poor. I think they probably survive off of the tourism to the castle, which sits ontop a hill in Kizilay overlooking Ankara. It is very easy to get to, so if you are ever in Ankara do not miss this beautiful site. Anyone can literally walk right along the edge of the top of the castle walls. Scary but worth the breathtaking sight! If anyone goes though, be prepared to say no to the many children that will swarm you asking you to buy their trinkets. Oh yes I was suckered into buying something, a pretty bracelet, I couldn't say no to this one sweet little girl no more than 5 years old. There are even some children trained to sit at the top of the castle and point out areas of Ankara in various languages, spanish, english, chinese, arabic, french, etc... Of course though, if you ask the children a question about what they said, they do not stray from the script since they dont really understand what they are saying. This is how they make money for their family, so we handed them a couple dollars for the visual tour.

We ate at this great little place inside the castle, owned by a Turkish man who liked to tease us all on our horrible Turkish. I ordered a new dish called Manta, basically mini mini raviolis but with potato inside instead of meat. Since it is Turkish, it is covered in yogart and seasoning. If I hadn't been sick I think I would have enjoyed it more. However, next time I order Manta, maybe I'll ask for it without the yogart. I'm getting a little tired of yogart on EVERYTHING! Its not a flavor I have gotten used to, not like US yogurt, more like watered down sour cream with a kick. And as usual, we had chai after our meal. Actually, I went a little different and tried the Turkish Kahve (coffee) which is famous. It was delicious, somehow I've got to figure out how to buy it and take it home to the US for my parents. There is a tradition/legend with turkish kahve that by using the ground left in the cup (which are very liquidly) you can shake them around upside down and read your fortune. Of course I had my fortune read... apparently I am to marry a man with the letters HA or KA in his name and be very happy about our marriage... what a relief.... I wont be marrying someone out of force or hate... go figure! ;) I think I'll post a picture of the fortune just becuase it is so interesting to see how the Turkish do it. By the way, if you did not realize, the Turkish are beyond superstitious...everything here means something or has some mystic reasoning behind it. I should begin to make a list of the some these (radical) ideas that are firmly believed and followed!
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