Twenty-five kilometers to the south of Ankara on the Konya road is Golbasi Lake, a popular place to visit for the attractive scenery and the fine restaurants on the lakeside. A favorite place for picnics is Karagol Lake, 68 km north of the city on the airport road, for which one should take the turn off for the town of Cubuk. The three dams around the city, Cubuk (15 km on the Cankiri Highway), Kurtbogazi (50 km on the Islanbul Highway) and Bayindir (15 km on the Kirkkale Highway) are pleasant places to visit for swimming and picnicking. There are also restaurants, and at Bayindir, good camping facilities.

Walkers will delight in exploring the three main forests around Ankara. South of the city, on the Kirsehir Highway (54 km), is the Beynam Forest; while to the north, on the Islanbul Highway (82 km), is the Kizilcahamam Soguksu National Park and further, in the same direction (110 km), is the Camkoru Forest. All are delightful retreats from the clamor of the city, and each provides many lovely places for picnics. Elmadag Mountain (1855 meters) Some twenty three kilometers from Ankara, Elmadag Mountain can be seen from most parts of the city. The first snowfall on the mountain heralds the start of winter and the beginning of skiing and wintersports at the pleasant resort center to be found here.


Those with an interest in the history of the region will find a visit to Yassihoyuk (Gordion) (105 km), past Polatli on the Eskisehir highway, and Gavurkalesi (60 km/, on the Haymana Highway near to Derekoy, interesting and easily made. Gordion, a Phrygian capital, site of the Gordion Knot (the key to Asia), is today of interest for the tumulus of King Midas, of the Golden Touch and the asses ears. The remains of the old city, still being excavated can be seen; and there is a small, pleasant museum. At Gavurkalesi, there can be seen the remains of an open-air Hittite temple, a tomb, and two reliefs of Hittite gods.


In the province of Ankara there are four thermal centers: Kizilcahamam Kaplica (80 km), Haymana Kaplica (72 km), Ayas Kaplica (57 km), and Dutlu Kaplica (85 km). All offer comfortable facilities in which to soak away one's cares. The thermal baths have beneficial properties and are, of course, altogether pleasurable.

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Melih Özbek