Day Trip to Bursa.

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During our stay in Istanbul, we went to Bursa for a day trip. To go to Bursa, first, we took a bus to the harbour, where the ferry boat leaves to Yalova. The bus boarded the ferry boat with its passengers, and we disembarked afterwards. Once the bus is parked in the boat, we were asked to proceed to the upper deck of the vessel. There were other buses parked on the lower deck, and many other passengers were already on the first deck when we went up.  Time passed quickly as we chatted with some fellow travellers, gazed at the greyish blue sky while enjoying the light breeze of air.When the ferry docked at Yalova harbour, vehicles were unloaded first, then the passengers and we boarded the bus we came in. Our first stop was at a hot spring. It was the first time I ever saw one, so I was super excited. I washed my face and hands from the water in hot spring before goint to explore the area. As we walked we found a mansion with a beautifully landscaped garden. It was said to be the retreat home of  Mustafa Kemal, the secular leader and the father of modern Turkey. After his death, the mansion was converted into a museum.

Our next leg of the journey was an uncomfortable bumpy ride with sudden sharp turns, as we climbed higher up the hill. But the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful as we passed some agricultural estates on the way up. By the time the bus stopped, what seems like to be the middle of nowhere on the road side of a narrow two-lane road, I was about to throw up from car sickness. The bus driver signalled us to follow him, so everyone followed him into a trail into the jungle and then we saw Sudüşen Waterfall. The water was cold, like chilled water. Few people with their children were camping or picnicking in the area. Some of them were soaked. An old lady was sitting in the vicinity of the waterfall with a strange kind of stove. She was making flatbreads. Her helper was another woman, who filled hot flatbreads with cheese, potato or a combination of both. It was sold for a Euro and was surprisingly delicious and filling. After that, once again we boarded the bus and rode up to Bursa without another stop. By the time we reached Bursa, it was around 2 pm, the heat was unbearable. We had a late lunch at a restaurant with a traditional Turkish setting.  The food and ambience were praiseworthy. After we had finished sightseeing in Bursa, our bus boarded the ferry back to Istanbul. As we cruised on the Marmara Sea towards Istanbul, it was close to sunset. The horizon was beautiful with shades of red, orange and yellow.  By the time we reached Istanbul harbour and started ourjourney back to the hotel, it was still rush hour. Our driver, Ismail Bey,  who didn’t speak a word of English babbled in Turkish and made us laugh with his gestures. We forgot how tired we were and didn’t mind stuck being in the traffic for another two hours or so.

 (I understood that it is common to use Bey, while addressing men in Turkey. Similarly, ‘Gul’ is added after women’s name.)

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