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25, photography lover, messy writer, philologist, passionate cook, avid traveller.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Through the eyes of a yabancı: Bursa

Once upon a time, in Turkey...

Last Friday, I found myself at the Antalya bus station (Otogar, and may any French read it out loud!) at 6 in the morning. It was the last weekend off before D-day, and so I decided to spend it visiting another part of the country. After 9 hours of endless breath-taking landscapes, rivers bathed with the morning sunlight, and a few stops at local towns full of coffee shops and Poğaça (yep, beauts) sellers, I reached my final destination.


Yeşil Bursa.

The bus station was crowded, with buses coming from all over the country and passengers running from one side to another. However, despite the huge amount of cars, yellow buses, taxis and even bikes, I could smell the fresh air and feel the temperature change (Boiling much, Antalya?). I was welcomed by a huge blue sky, a fresh summer breeze and a portrait of Atatürk. And, although I only spent two days, I created a particularly special link with this city, mainly because it reminded me (still does, always will!) of my hometown, Bogotá.

Being the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and the fourth largest city in Turkey, Bursa had a lot to offer me. From its magnificent views, its majestic mountains, hidden spots, beautifully built mosques and way more, we tried to see the most of it.

Of course, two days will never be enough.

So, if I had to sum up my weekend (and try to contain my excitement when writing about it), I would start with the little trip by teleferik to the top of the Great Mountain (Uludağ), where landscapes are just... Gah. Home to several chalets and ski resorts, major attraction during winter time, Uludağ is the best medicine against any kind of urban madness and a beautiful change of scene (dépaysement, anyone?). We then set out on our way down, to take a walk along the city centre and beyond, having candied chestnut, goat milk ice cream and tons of çay in the process. Best way to have fun. Period.

I would definitely go back to Saklı Bahçe (Hidden Garden), a cozy little lookout, where cussions were disposed on the grass, around tables for drinks and food, and rabbits were running around. Perfect place for a hot coffee, dessert and a good chat.  

I even got to go to a Turkish wedding. And an engagement party.

Turkish wedding cake. They should ban dessert in this country.

Breakfast (Turkish bread... *sigh*)

Teleferik. 'We created our own heaven.'

Maraş Usulü Dondurma (goat milk ice cream). Can someone explain why these don't exist anywhere else?!

A closer look at the Ulucamii (Great Mosque)

Bursa <3

'Going back home' is not... close enough to describe what I felt when crossing the country. Whilst sitting on the bus, I felt like traveling back in time to my greatest memories, driving through the Colombian Andes on a sunny holiday. Going up the mountain reminded me of my city's magnificent view, along with its beautiful places and warm-hearted people, just like Turkish people.

I'm glad I had a first. And it certainly won't be the last.  


1 comment:

  1. Another great read. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience!