#beyondayasofya – Ankara Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم.
Assalamu’alaikum wrt wbt.
Since I was gonna have my winter break I decided to take trips outside of Istanbul. I tried to plan my trip since December but somehow whenever I try to do so the break seemed so far away I ended up procrastinating. my first options were Ankara, Edirne, Bursa and Konya (came a bit later in the picture), and I planned to tour istanbul too because believe it or not after 4 months I still haven’t gone to some places. After some discussions and rearranging my schedule and reconsidering factors,my destinations were finalised -Ankara, Istanbul and bursa.
As the break was coming nearer I panicked as I hadn’t made a proper plan. One week prior to the break we finally made a “more” proper plan. My main purpose of going to Ankara was to visit the Embassy of Brunei. My family and I planned to come to Ankara when I first came but we had to cancel due to health reason. I was actually about to do a solo trip, but my mother did not allow me, hence a friend came with me.
I informed the embassy that I was gonna come, made rough plan and bought a bus ticket as recommended by a contact from the embassy 2 days before going. 
19/1/2015 – Day of departure.
That morning I woke up at around 6.30 after sleeping at 1 the night before. After my morning routine it was time to get ready, and later on I finished up packing. We left our dorm at around 8.15 and our bus to Ankara would leave at 11. At around 9 we reached Uskudar for the Marmaray underground train. From Uskudar Marmaray we headed towards Yenikapi and transferred to Metro to reach the main inter-city bus station. Upon reaching the main station we dropped by a nearby mosque for Dhuha, grabbed something for brunch before going to our peron.
By the way I’m kinda a sucker when it comes to organising and minimising, So my clothes were stuffed in a small hand luggage for a 3-day trip. In total I brought a backpack containing a book, a notebook, a small pencil case,  iPad, snacks, cables, power banks and some other stuff and a hand luggage of clothes. 
So at 11 off we went to Ankara, with a bus comfortable enough for a 6-hour trip, complete with a TV for each passenger and WiFi. Surprisingly not long after the bus started to move, we both got carsick, which I think didn’t happen during my (only) bus trip to Pontianak in 2009 and after 20 min or so a baby sitting few seats behind of us threw up, and at this moment my body spray came in handy, and not to forget that I realised that I left my charger cable at my dorm halfway through our journey. Ironically out of everything i packed to keep my phone alive which includes an extra power bank, I forgot the lifeline (pun intended). but luck was on my side. Our pit stop did sell charger cables, so a 35TL saved the day.
Alhamdulillah our journey went smooth and the view we saw was just, Subhanallah. It was as if we were sandwiched by snow-covered mountains from distant and as we were nearing Ankara they became closer and closer until at one point all we saw were hills, trees, and snow.

Pit stop

Accommodation 
We started searching on the net for a place to stay a few days before going, but we didn’t seem to find any affordable place except for two hostels. I didn’t wanna go for them because there were only shared rooms available and they stated “mixed”, which meant that the room may put male and female together, but my roommate said that they separate male and female. After considering for a few days. we booked 2 beds in a 3-bed room. but not long after booking it a senior who is studying in Ankara offered to stay at her place. She was in Istanbul and returned to Ankara the day before we left. so we cancelled our booking- fortunately they didn’t charge anything. 
In the middle of our journey however she contacted us again with a bad news. her place was occupied at the very last min and we couldn’t stay with her. so we placed a booking again to another hostel. 
We reached Ankara at around 5.30. After getting everything done (read : finding our way and getting an Ankarakart, a transportation card for Ankara) we started heading to our place. 
It was around 5 stops and a few minutes walk from the Ankara Otogar. After checking in we went out for solat and dinner. When we first entered our room the other person occupying one of the beds were not in.

Going around

We first walked to Kocatepe Camii which is around 500m from our place. Kocatepe Camii is one of the biggest mosques in the world and can accommodate up to 24,000 people. When we reached the mosque however the lights inside were already off.

After that we went for a dinner. We had nothing fancy, just pizza. Then when we were heading back we dropped by at an arcade to try a 7D cinema.

We continued back going to our hostel, and when we entered our room we found a man sleeping on one of the beds. 

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