Confused Capital?

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and it is the country’s second largest city. But where exactly is Ankara? Europe or Asia?

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Ankara is in Asia. But apparently nobody told that to the committee for the European Museum of the Year Award! Because somehow they selected the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (in Ankara) as their award winner in 1997. There is probably an awesome museum in Prague [insert any other European city here] that had this prestigious (?) award slip through its hands and had to settle for runner up. Well done committee, well done!

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In addition to visiting the museum above, we also visited Anıtkabir. Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as a museum dedicated to his achievements. Atatürk was the founder of the Republic of Turkey and he is considered a national hero. The museum was actually quite impressive, especially compared to the “award-winning” museum above. The museum was protected by members of the Turkish Honor Guard representing different branches of their military.

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And if anyone gets out of line, these guys mean business. Check out how they put Rob in a time out!

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Just kidding. Rob was on his best behavior.

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Unfortunately, our time in Ankara was very short and we didn’t really get an opportunity to explore the city. Most of our day was tied up visiting these two museums that were part of our guided tour. Given the opportunity, we would have preferred to roam around Ankara at our leisure and really get a feel for the city, but sadly we were at the will of our tour guide. However, we did get to experience a 5M Migros! What is a Migros, you ask? Migros is a grocery store and they classify the size of the store by the number of M’s in the name. They are all over Turkey and we saw Migros, MMigros, and even MMMigros. But it wasn’t until we got to Ankara that we saw our first MMMMMigros! We checked it out and it was basically a Turkish version of Super WalMart.

We are going to Turkey!

Rob and I will be traveling to Turkey at the end of August! I found an incredible deal on Travelzoo for a 13 Day Turkish Treasures vacation package by Gate 1 Travel. Our package includes 11 nights at 4 star hotels in Istanbul, Canakkale, Izmir, Antalya, Cappadocia, & Ankara, as well as a ton of included tours and meals. This package can be booked to include airfare, but we purchased the land only package and plan to use reward points to purchase our airfare, making this vacation incredibly affordable! (Less than $1000 per person!)

This vacation will complete # 5 for my goals for 2013. Turkey is also on my Top Ten Wish List, so I will get to scratch that off the list as well! If you have ever traveled to Turkey, please feel free to leave any tips and suggestions for us!

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Photo courtesy of Gate 1 Travel