Today, my spouse and I packed one large suitcase each for a summer we will spend in Ankara, Turkey. Difficult decisions were made: bring the food processor, leave the hand mixer. Fortunately for us, deciding to make the move to Turkey's capital for the summer was far from difficult. I'm so thrilled to be here!
Ankara is the real capital of Turkey, though many mistakenly think it is Istanbul. Ankara is the second largest city next to the 'bul and boasts a quieter, more subdued feel. Think: NYC is to DC as Istanbul is to Ankara. All 'big cities' but very different in character, layout, and demographic make up.
View from our new apartment's balcony!
While many Istanbullu are wary of Ankara's summertime heat and its considerable distance from open waters, Ankara has a dry heat compared to Istanbul's wet humidity. The summer weather here in Ankara is rather ideal despite its location in the center of the dry, arid Anatolian plateau. Highs are in the mid-80s with lows at 60F, averaging about 73-74F on most summer days. It's the perfect summer weather to enjoy BBQs (mangal) and beverages on our new balcony.
Here's a historical token I love about Ankara. In 278 BC, Ankara, along with the rest of central Anatolia, was occupied by a Celtic group, the Galatians, who were the first to make Ankara one of their tribal centers. (You know the Galatians... Remember that epistle the Apostle Paul wrote to a number of early Christian communities in the Roman province of Galatia in central Anatolia? Well that's Ankara today!)
Wikipedia's Angora rabbit. Ha!
This city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), Angora rabbits and their prized Angora wool, pears, honey, and the region's muscat grapes, from which a supposed great many Turkish red wines are made. (I say this somewhat sarcastically as I drank an Azerbaijani muscat wine during my Peace Corps service that was downright terrible!) I hope to visit a Turkish hamam, vineyard and maybe even see one of these special Ankara rabbits!
Ankara'dan görüşörüz! Expect photos from our new apartment and top-floor terrace soon...