While my friend Olivia was visiting from Boston, we spent a few days in Bursa, which is approximately three hours from Istanbul by car and even less by ferry if you go directly from Yenikapi to Guzelyali (Mudayna). On our second day in Bursa, we woke up early to have breakfast under Bursa’s famous 600 year old Cinar tree which is – hands down – my favorite breakfast place in Turkey. I like it so much that I even bring jars from home so that I can fill up on goodies in the restaurant’s kitchen before heading back to Istanbul.
On this particular day, we decided to drive up the mountain after our breakfast at Cinar. I hadn’t been to Uludag in a couple of years so it was also a nice treat for me. Plus, March is the perfect time to visit because it’s not so cold and when you get tired of the snow, you can just drive back down and voila! the snow is gone. With Gurkan behind the wheel, Olivia in front to see the view, and Meral (my former flatmate, friend and abla) and I in the backseat, we were soon off on our mountain adventure.
Here a few highlights from our afternoon at Uludag:
The weather was overcast but the views were still breathtaking and the scene on the mountain was lively.
Children throwing snowballs at themselves – this little girl even aimed one at me when her mom wasn’t looking!
Forest hikes out to the rocks (not only am I afraid of heights but Gurkan even mentioned there might be wild hogs. I am still not sure if that was a joke or not…).
And last but not least, impromptu dance circles!
We would have stayed a bit longer had the snow not started to come in. We made a mad dash to the bottom of the mountain.
On my next trip to Uludag, I’d like to eat at Palabiyik. I took a peak inside and the food smelled and looked excellent, a sort of grill your own meat restaurant. A few years ago, friends and I had stopped at Palabiyik for a very tasty semovar of tea (must be the mountain water!).
Oh, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen. You don’t want to come down looking like a tomato.