Travelogue to Turkey- Part II
23/3/2015 ( Second day)
Good morning Bursa... I woke up early. Subuh was about 4.30am in the morning. We will have to go out early to go up to Uludag national park. This is an area of people playing ski.. For us who come from a place without snow , this is an opportunity to play with snow. No...we're not going there for skiing. I'm able to persuade Ida to come along...😆
We checked out from the Kavansaray hotel early. This is going to be our routine for the next one week. Changing hotel and travel by bus everyday. We went for breakfast at 7am, by 7.30am all the luggage will be in front of our doors for the porter to collect and by 8am already leave the hotel. In the bus, we learned few Turkish language taught by Finar our tour guide... Gunaidem means good morning, marhabah means hello, naseseem means how are you and i'yem means I'm fine.
We went by bus to the cable car centre and from there we went uphill by cable car. Since this is an optional trip...we had to pay USD40 for this trip. It was such a great experience I would say, so I think USD40 is worth it. There were 5 of us sharing the same cable car. Some will go with a bigger family group. There I met new friends ie: Mona ( an Indonesian citizen who own a boutique in Puchong), Zuraini and her elder sister Zarina. With only 5 of us...there's quite a comfortable space for us to selfie and took some nice photos along the way up to the mountainous area. It was a very nice view seen from the cable car. In some of the areas we see the foot step of creature... Hehee don't know whether it's belong to human or animals. Ida said it can't be human footsteps since it looked like only one foot.... Jeng jeng jeng... Hahaaa...could be animal footsteps anyway. The scenery there was very nice and we were like very 'perak'. Bukan senang nak dapat tengok snow. Maklum la sekali sekala nampak snow.
We reached safely at another end of cable car station. It took us about 15 minutes with cable car to go up. Once reached there, we were really excited to see snow and started taking pictures as if we already reached the peak of the mountain. Some areas there were quite slippery, so we have to watch our step and make sure wore a good type of shoes. From there we took a van to go further up the mountain to the ski area to get a better view. It took us about 10-15 minutes drive to reach the skiing area. The route to there was quite winding with the land covered with thick snow layer. There we took some more photos for a memory that we have reached this part of the world. All look very happy with the experience of playing snow. From far, we can see sitting cable chair. May be we were not at the top of the mountain yet...there's nobody playing ski seen in this area.
On the way back to the cable car station, the van stopped by at another site for us to have further photo shoot with a better view. After we went down to the initial station. As usual any stop is a toilet break session...typical Malaysian. Here ladies is called 'bayan' and men is called 'bay'. So we start use this word 'bayan' when we want our tour guide to stop for toilet break.
It was drizzling this morning. We were brought to visit the Green Mosque this morning. In Turkey there were so many mosques can be seen in close proximity. So we can here azan from every corner. Some mosques are small... I guess it's just enough for 40 jemaah. In a way you can say, there's no reason for people to give reason they couldn't pray because they can't find a mosque. The architecture of the mosques in Turkey are almost similar especially the dome structure. So... I don't have to describe it, because it's just like other mosques seen around this area. There some of us did tahayatul masjid prayer. Finar did give a background history of this mosque and the significant of Bursa earlier...which I couldn't grabbed at that time.
So, when I came back to Malaysia... I had to make some reading to understand the history which she had mentioned in the bus and during our visit to the historical place like this. She mentioned about this mosque was built during the era of Sultan Mahmed I ( in fact Green Mosque also known as Mosque of Mahmed I). Earlier I thought this is Sultan Mahmed Al Fatih. So I was wrong. Ok after studying a little bit (basically information from Wikipedia)... Ottoman Empire or Turkish empire to start with was founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia. With conquests in the Balkans by Murad I between 1362 and 1389, the Ottoman sultanate was transformed into transcontinental empire and claimant to caliphate. The Ottoman overthrew the Byzantine Empire in 1453 with Mehmed II (this is Al Fatih) conquest of Constantinople. Ok...what's the significant of Bursa...it was the former capital of the Ottoman Turks before they captured Constantinople in 1453. If you are interested you can read more on this. I am not writing history book anyway, just read to understand places which I have visited. Anyway, I'm really interested to get a copy of book on Ottoman Empire as well as Sultan Mahmed II (Al Fatih the conqueror).
If yesterday, I talked about dogs...here let's talk about cat. Adorable creature ...don't you think so. Outside this mosque, there was a cute cat. Most of the cats here were quite big and furry. Could be due to the cold weather. It was quite tame but when I tried to catch her, she will run a way. Typical 'malu-malu kucing'. I didn't see the mark like what I saw they did to the dogs...so not sure whether they vaccinate the cat as well. Hmmm... God knows. Anyway...I still love cats.
From there we walk to the Green mausoleum which was situated opposite of the green mosque. It's also called Sultan Mahmed mausoleum. It took us less than 5 minutes to reach there. This mausoleum was where the sultan's tomb located below that. Some of other tombs of his family members also were there. As mentioned above this is Sultan Mahmed I. This mausoleum was built by his son and successor Murad II in 1421. Frankly speaking, I didn't quite like to visit mausoleum, not because of it's freaky...but just not that comfortable especially to places which some people make it as a holy place. There are a lot of weird people out there and believe in khurafat. Anyway, we just went around the tombs while our tour guide explained the detail. Very minimal information absorbed to my brain at that time.
We walked to the silk bazaar or should I say she brought us to a silk house. It just took us about 5 minutes walked to reach there from the Green Mausoleum. It was a shop selling silk items and a lot of other things and souvenir to bring back.Yup... As usual they displayed quite a variety and quite good quality of items here. I guess the price might be a little bit expensive. Anyway, I did not spend a cent here...may be not my type and furthermore I didn't have anything special to buy here. It's quite common for the tour guide to bring to a place which sold branded or good quality items...she'll also got commission if the tourist bought something from the shop. Later some of us went down to the other shops nearby ...seems that the items were cheaper I guess...but don't know about the quality. There was money changer here...and that's what I did anyway... To change to some Turkish Lira. Yup...this is Turkish currency using Lira. In some of the places, we can use USD or Euro. Lira value is 1.5 times our RM currency. So our currency is lower than them.
We started our journey to the next destination to Kusadasi. I thought we were going to have lunch in Bursa, instead we went straight to Kusadasi and had lunch stop on the way to Kusadasi. This journey to Kusadasi from Bursa will take us about 5 1/2 hours to reach our destination. One thing good about this bus, it had free wifi for us to surf while travelling. However, on and off it was interrupted. Anyway it was good enough for us to connect with the outside world by facebook or wassap...to share our experience during this journey to Turkey. Along the way we just enjoyed the scenery with the view of olive trees and some other common trees found here. The effect of the winding route I went through this morning, made me nauseous. Somehow earlier, I didn't feel it. Or may be because of the effect of Iberet I took this morning. Have to take Stemetil to reduce this effect. The rest of the journey, I just sleep due to tiredness and to reduce the motion sickness.
We stopped for lunch and jama' prayer halfway to Kusadasi. As usual the first think came to our mind when the bus stop... Find the 'bayan' first. Today according to our tour leader...we are going to have Turkish meatball. Seems that it should be one of their specialty around this area. Ok, we will try. As usual we were given soup and bread as the first course item. There's not much different in term of the variety of soup served...lentil soup, tomato soup sometimes we were given vegetables soup (don't expect it looks like our vege soup)... and in fish restaurant we were served with fish soup. So those were the 'pembuka selera' for us. We tried to improvise the taste by adding pepper and salt. Some people found it good and palatable. For me most of the time...I could not even finish half of the bowl. Another obligatory item served was mixed salad/ vegetables usually a combination of salad, carrots, corn, beetroot and some other vege in which I couldn't name it plus olive oil. Sikit-sikit ok la...Tapi kalau hari-hari macam ni, nampak pun dah letak tepi. Ini baru hari kedua...telan juga la sikit-sikit especially bila perut tengah lapar. It reminds me on the similar types of vege served went I visited Uzbekistan 4 years ago. Then come the main dish..meatball...Ooppps...lamb!!!. Ok... I just tasted it a little bit. As usual couldn't appreciate how people really love lamb. Just makan untuk hidup je ni..😢. Shouldn't complain so much on food ...right. The chefs might have done his best to serve us...😉.
We continued our journey till we reached hotel Tatlises nearly 7pm. We had our dinner first while our tour leader checked in hotel and took the room key for us. The room is relatively small, but it's enough because we just need it for sleep. The next day, the same instruction...wake up call at 5am, breakfast start at 7am, by 7.30 am all the bags outside the room and 8am start journey.
Ok ... Till next day...😉