Ankara

Ankara was Atatürk's headquarters from 1920 and has been the capital of the Republic since its founding in 1923, replacing Istanbul following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Overlooking the city is Anitkabir, the enormous hilltop mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey’s first president. The government is a prominent employer, but Ankara is also an important commercial and industrial city, located at the centre of Turkey's road and railway networks. The city gave its name to the Angora wool shorn from the long-haired Angora goat (the source of mohair)

Atatürk's Mausoleum

Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was designed by architects Onat and Arda, whose proposal beat 48 other entries from several countries in a competition held by the Turkish Government in 1941 for a "monumental tomb" for Atatürk. It was completed in 1953. The main hall is the final resting place for Atatürk's remains

Over 1,000,000 people a year visit the mausoleum, of these about 400,000 are on Turkish Independence Day

It's worth witnessing the changing of the guards, which involves a lot of goose-stepping, loud stomping of feet and yelling of ceremonial orders – it takes place every couple of hours. The boys liked having their photo taken with a guard

There is also a museum under the square, with all things Atatürk. It is really of more interest to Turks than foreigners. A glowing retrospective of the great man's life. I am sure that , like Churchill, he had many flaws, but you won't find any of them highlighted here. I think that the average foreigner could happily skip the museum, and stick to watching the changing of the guard.

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Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

Built to house Hittite objects originally, it now exhibits objects from all periods. The items on show include the statues that were originally at Hattusha

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Grand Sera Hotel

“Average, nothing to remember, nothing to forget about it” We were here with a small group. I assume the hotel was chosen on price. And that it what it delivers, a middle of the road 3 star hotel, perfectly clean and maintained, but nothing to distinguish itself from any other 3 star hotel . The breakfast was equally average, nothing to whet your appetite, but equally well nothing to complain about.

The one plus point was the view at sunset of the setting of the sun behind a nearby mosque - quite memorable :-) If you can get this hotel at a competitive price, then it is worth staying here. Otherwise look for a more memorable hotel.

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So it's "Goodbye Ankara" and on to our final destination - Istanbul

On to next town - Istanbul

Back to Overall Itinerary for Silk Road Trip 2016