Cold, cold Ankara
We were on a compulsory trip to Ankara where we had to attend the visa interview at the embassy. We stayed at my friend's place, who was extremely hospitable, and were only able to see Anitkabir (Ataturk's Mausoleum) due to the cold (and also the fact that there wasn't much to do in the city). It either was the coldest place I've ever been, or I haven't experienced cold weather in a long time, I'm not sure. But I'm sure I didn't like it. D tells me I'm about to experience much colder weather soon, and that worries me. Today it is -7 C in Eastern Oregon. I think the lowest I had was -2 C. It's a disaster.
I liked Ankara in that the people seemed nicer, even cab drivers. It seemed like a place where people won't stare at you and mind their own business, but I can't say for sure since I was only on the streets for a few hours wrapped up in wool things.
It's certainly a no-nonsense city. D took a picture of an Ataturk statue-thingy on a building, and one minute down the road, we were greeted by an undercover security person who took us to the main gate of the building and made us wait until the main security person came down to see with his own eyes while we erased the picture from our camera. Turns out the building was the headquarters of army forces. oops!
It felt good to visit Ataturk's mausoleum again. I like the architecture of that whole place, it's fairly minimal but not bare. They could have gone all out and built something over the top for the magnificent leader, but they didn't, and I'm proud of that.
We also stopped by Kugulu Park, 'the park with swans', and it was a joy to see swans after what seemed like so many years, and we took many swan pictures.
All in all, except the cold and bureaucratic obstacles, it was a good trip. Thank you Mine!