Yet another holiday recently gave us the opportunity for a long weekend trip. We decided to visit Bursa and the region of Çanakkale.
We drove from Ankara, and the first stop was İnegöl. We only stopped briefly for lunch as it is known for its İnegöl Köfte. I got a real kick out of the newspaper on top of the table, shoved under glass, and right at my place. It mentioned Chantilly, Virginia, just minutes from where my husband used to work.
Back on the road, we finally made it to Bursa, about a 4 hour drive from Ankara. Bursa is known for several things. Among them are silk and fabrics, mosques, Iskender Kebap, and the legend of Karagöz and Hacivat that you can read about by clicking here.
We visited several mosques including Ulu Cami (The Grand Mosque of Bursa) which was built in 1396–1400.
We also visited ancient buildings known as “Han” for shopping. There were many different styles, but I preferred the square shaped buildings with alcoves of small shops and a courtyard in the middle – a stop for tea! I scored a silk scarf and a woolen wrap.
We did quite a bit of walking while taking in the scenery, the people, the scents of the pazars, and the Ottoman style homes. Bursa does a much better job of “restoring” Ottoman homes. In Ankara, the term restoration really means “renovation.”
At the end of the night, we headed over to Yeşil Cami, the “Green Mosque.” which is part of a larger complex (akülliye) that hosts the mosque, türbe, madrasah, a kitchen, and a Turkish bath. While Ulu Cami certainly was grand, this Yeşil Cami was the most beautiful building in Bursa.
Please Note: I would normally, out of respect, not take a photo of someone praying. The man in the photo below was actually spending a substantial amount of time posing for photos when I shot this.
If you visit Bursa, please be respectful when entering mosques. Don’t act like a “stupid tourist.” Don’t enter during the main prayer times. Remove your shoes. And ladies, some will require you to cover your head. Others will not, but it is appreciated if you do. Shorts, short skirts, plunging necklines and such are also frowned upon. When traveling Turkey, I always carry a scarf in my bag or a wrap around my shoulders. You never know when they will come in handy and you don’t want to miss out on the beauty.