We left Istanbul early in the morning for the long drive to Ankara. On the way we made two stops – first at a motorway rest stop which had an amazing indoor market, and the second was in the town of Beypazan.
The indoor market had most of what anyone would need, especially in terms of sweets. The Turkish people love sweets and there are so many varieties. Many of them have pistachio nuts inside or are made of taffy or consist of dried fruit or honey. The biggest surprise for me was eating a delicious dried strawberry.
Beypazan was a wonderful small town with a sculpture of a large carrot in the middle of town. Carrots must be one of the main products, as there was carrot juice available on the street and in the market.
We had lunch in a festive restaurant that featured 3 generations of musicians playing traditional Turkish music and offering the opportunity to dance. The 86 year old ‘grandfather’ was quite the dancer, and he took the microphone to sing one of the songs. Later, we performed a play in traditional costume (or as best as we could fake it with scarves).
Shopping was a very pleasant experience in Beypazan, even though I cannot speak Turkish and many people did not speak English. People in general go out of their way to make foreigners feel welcome.