The bus ride was pleasant. As we were leaving Bursa, we traveled alongside Uludag, which means Holy Mountain. There was snow on top of the mountain and the sun was reflecting off it.
As we moved east the terrain went from mostly green with trees, to dry and brown with very few trees. It reminded me of the western United States in many places. We arrived at Eskisehir in about 2 hours time where we departed from the bus to enter the train station. We made a quick bathroom break and then went to board the train. The train had a nice comfortable interior with spacious seating arrangements.
There were a few empty seats so we rearranged our seating and I had two seats free for myself. The train accelerated smoothly to 160 MPH. It didn’t feel like we were moving so fast. It was quite an amazing way to travel. We left at about 3:15 and arrived at the train station in Ankara at 4:40, so it was a very quick trip. We saw a lot of the rugged and beautiful landscape of Turkey.
We got off the train and were greeted by our good friend Levent. We all greeted him and then headed over to his car. We then traveled to his office where we would await some of our other Turkish friends.
He took us up to the top floor where there was a cafe and we had tea and Turkish coffee. We went outside on the balcony and looked out at the city.
Shortly after, Omer arrived and then the other Levent. We had another round of drinks and then headed over to a nice restaurant, which supposedly has the best baklava in town.
There we would also meet Suleyman and Osman, our other Turkish friends and former NC State students. We had an amazing dinner with a lot of different Turkish foods (Lavash, kebabs, hummus, Iskender), and then baklava for dessert. We talked for a long time and got caught up on what had happened in the lives of our friends.
We then headed home with Levent who was graciously hosting us in his apartment.
We chatted for a while after arriving and then I skyped with Shanna so she could say hi to Levent & Vildan. Finally it was time to sleep. Randy got the bedroom, and Jeff and I got the living room. Jeff snores...