Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Discover Anatolia 1 : Eskisehir

Anatolia is known as Asia Minor or Asian Turkey. It's a peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean sea to the south, Black sea to the North and the Aegean sea to the west.
Black and Aegean seas are connected by the sea of Marmara through two straits, Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

After 5 day trip in Anatolia, I evoked Ibn Batuta, a Moroccan traveler of the 14th century: 

"This country called Bilad-al-Rum(Bilad=country, AlRum Romans and their heirs the Byzantine) is one of the finest regions in the world; in it God has brought together the good things dispersed through an other land. Its inhabitants are the comeliest of men in form, the cleanest in dress, the most delicious food, and the kindliest of God's creatures."

Briefly, nothing had been changed after 7 centuries.     

Eskisehir is one of the most picturesque city of Anatolia. It is 330 km southeast of Istanbul and in the intersection of all rail lines of Turkey. Vacationers in Istanbul, Izmir or any seaside resort can purchase a 25$ train ticket and head to Eskisehir.    


Gondola Tour

Since the city is bisected by a river "porsuk", visitors can enjoy a gondola tour. And then having a good lunch in its restaurant scattered all over the river bank. Some of this restaurants offer meals based on fresh fish from the river.  

Wax museum:

 Accommodates more than 150 wax statues of personalities that left their marks on Turkish and world history. 
It is remarkable that celebrities from Eskisehir, like sport figures and TV stars, are presented.

Sazova park:

 From Osman Ghazi campus, a fairy-tale castle is visible. It is Sazova park, one of the city attractions. To get there, catch the tram until its terminus Osman Ghazi university and then walk to the other exit of the campus.
Inside the campus a huge mosque was raised. I was told later that the dean is a member of AKP, the Islamist party that rules Turkey. While the dean of the other university, Anadoulu, is secular from CHP, Ataturk party.    

The park is equipped with an open train, bouncy castles, an artificial lake and a pirate vessel. There are also coffee shops and fast food restaurants. 
The fairy tale stylish castle is completed with items in medieval costumes.

Inside the castle : Pinocchio 

Inside the castle

The pirate vessel

The pirate vessel

Inside wax museum

Inside wax museum 

Porsuk river 

Street art

Naceruddin Hoca statues

Sazova park, Eski┼čehir attraction

Naceruddin Hoca statue Sazova park

Inside fairy tale castle