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Ankara and the flight to Iran

by - August 18 2010

I spent yesterday visiting Ankara and then I flew to Tehran, where I am now.

The bus from Cappadocia to Ankara was supposed to leave at 8am from Goreme, but actually left at 9:30am from a different town, with a different bus company. One thing one soon realises in Turkey is that if someone tells you something, particularly regarding where something is or when something will happen, it is quite likely that what they told you was just something they made upon the spot. My hunch is that people would rather risk being wrong than appear to not know something. I'm fairly confident that if I asked how to get to Narnia I would be directed to a bus stop and told what time the bus was leaving.

On the way to Ankara we passed a salt lake - which reportedly has similar floatation properties to the dead sea.

Ankara has a reputation for being a bit of a dump, but I actually quit liked it. It had a pleasant hilltop citadel, some nice parks, and an interesting museum about ancient civilisations (including the hittites, who I have decided were cool). Ankara also has some very friendly policemen. My "perfect stomach" record failed after a bad (but delicious) kebab and I suddenly found I needed to find a toilet *now*. My British instinct got the better of me and I approached a nearby policeman to ask him where the nearest toilet was. Be was kind enough to escort me to the police station, past lots of fierce looking people with big guns, and let me use their toilet. I'm hoping his will be the only time I find myself in a police station in the middle east.

When the time came, I went to the airport, had my last beer for two weeks, and go on the plane to Iran. I'll blog about Iran in a couple of hours, but first I have to go break my Ramadan fast - I'm really hungry.