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.
As usual, I enjoy following your travels as this time, I can related even more as those were destinations visited during our July trip. I can still taste the Inegol kofte in my mouth as we went specifically there to have some. We stopped in a place that we both a butcher shop and cooked the meatballs right there,…talking about freshness!
And the comment about the man in the mosque posing? We have encountered few of those too! :):) See you soon..insallah!
Hi Viv, traveling through Turkey is just great! Will I really see you soon???
So jealous 😉 Did you try the İskender there, too 😉
GR8 piccies – loved them. I got to try one of those “nar” – never seen them before.
Hi Tony, I did eat Iskender there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as I’ve had in Ankara. And they didn’t do “the show” of pouring the melted butter on top at tableside. I guess we chose a place that was just too touristy. The nar was also sold in jars like a jam. But they were using it for medicinal purposes (I don’t remember how.) No one mentioned that whether it tasted good, and I didn’t try it.
You were fortunate to have the Green Mosque open – when J and I were visiting it was just in the process of being reopened and the whole area was awash with protocol and ‘men in black’. So, thanks for the photos and a nice post.
You’re welcome Alan. If we go back, I am going to plan more ahead for better housing choices. 🙂
We loved Bursa when we visited but we really need to go back. It was the middle of January, covered in snow and absolutely freezing. I want to be able to sit outside the cafes and take all in.
I never expected to love Bursa as much as I did, Julia. I was expecting a bunch of factories and dark clouds of smog. Enjoy your next visit!
Fantastic! Thank you soooooo much for sharing, we in Sharon Hill, PA, USA love it!
We need to do another visit too. Just wondering what makes these köfte any different from say, Tekirdağ köfte?? But I do love them.. lovely post, Terry!
I often wonder about the kofte and the kebaps. They often seem to be the same spices but different shapes. I”m not sure which is Tekirdag. Inegol kofte are a little rubbery for my liking.
So great to see that you visited Bursa – my favorite city in Turkey – and not just as a result of it being the home of Karagöz and Hacivat – you hit all my favorite spots! You are close by our neck of the woods – if you are still in Canakkale, you might take a day trip to Bozcaada to check out the vineyards! Enjoy!
I can’t believe I missed you too! I am going to have to create a chart of where all of my virtual friends are! More photos of our long weekend are still coming – and yes – sunset in Bozcaada is among them!!!