Bahçelievler means houses with gardens. What a lovely name for a neighborhood. I never really visited it much when I lived in Ankara other than visits to the hospital, an antique store, and visits to Anitkabir (the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk). According to Wikipedia, Bahcelievler was known in the 1970s as a battleground for the right and left wing political factions. Seems about right.
So on a lovely sunny day, we parked the car and strolled the area. The first stop was our antique shop (more of a junk store). He was closed but allowed us to peruse for a few minutes. As we walked, I took in the scenery, the old trees still lining streets, used books selling for pennies, markets upon markets, and of course, numerous bars and restaurants.
Personally, I was in search of the one food I had not yet eaten on this trip, kumpir! Basically it is a stuffed baked potato. But I won’t bore you with the details since I have written about it in detail before. I also took a snapshot of the skinny soda cans which I prefer to a 12 oz. can. For those of you who have not tried Fanta abroad, I highly suggest it. It is not the dark orange super sweet soda we are used to here. Light and refreshing (and yes, full of calories!)
An afternoon in Bahçelievler is a marvelous way to spend the day with family, friends, or even by yourself. Just minutes from the downtown area of Kizilay, you can easily get there by bus, metro, or taxi. I highly recommend it!