As the capital city of Turkey, Ankara somehow falls out of the travel radar as it is clearly overshadowed by other wonders in the country – the Göreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia, the “Cotton Castle” in Pamukkale, Ephesus, or the enormous Istanbul.
We visited Ankara on the route of our way back to Istanbul from Cappadocia, and surprising enough, we went pass an amazing salt flat in Turkey where the sky and ground merge into one to create wonderful images.
Talking about the “Mirror of the sky”, a lot of travelers immediately thinks about Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat located over 3,600 meters above sea level. While in fact, this is not the only mirror of the sky In the planet J. Lake Tuz, located in the central Anatolia Region of Turkey, is the second largest lake in Turkey and it’s about 1/6 the size of the Salar de Uyuni. The lake is very shallow, though, with 0.5 to 1.5 feet in depth, the water dries up in summer with only a thin layer of water or even no water left in the Lake, people could walk on the lake and the reflection creates dreamy and magnificent images.
More than 60% of salt in Turkey were mined from this lake, and crystallized salt can be seen. As we were jumping and wandering in the lake my pants got wet and salt stuck in my pants when it was dry as well.
Formation of Salt Flats
Salt flats are dried-up desert lakes. They form in closed hollows where rainfall can’t drain away. In a wet climate, a lake would form but, in a desert, the water is heated and evaporates into vapour faster than it is replenished by rain. The salt and minerals dissolved in the water are left behind as a solid layer. Some salt flats are massive. Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, were formed by the evaporation of an ancient lake as large as present-day Lake Michigan. They are flat enough to be used as a raceway for setting land-speed records.
By – How it Works Daily 😛
After a quick change when arriving in Ankara, we headed to the Anıtkabir – the most iconic landmark in the capital city. Anıtkabir, a.k.a. the memorial tomb is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. It is also the final resting place of the second President of Turkey, İsmet İnönü. The main monument of the site is symmetrical, cut-stone clad building manifested by its detailing and workmanship in construction; and of course, there is an Anıtkabir Atatürk Museum that showcased the first President’s personal belongings, history, and stories.
The mausoleum has a high level of security and stood guards could be seen almost everywhere in the site. Besides, it’s located on a hill and, therefore, the corridor of the courtyard offers a panoramic view of Ankara.
It was the only tourist spot we visited in Ankara and we took some time to wander in the city before it got dark. To me, the city has some sort of nostalgic vibe as if I was in the 60/70s, and the locals were definitely intrigued and gave us funny looks when they saw a bunch of foreigners was strolling in the Ankara streets.