Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excursion to Eskisehir

During the recent Turkish holiday, we took an excursion to Eskisehir, a city about 200 miles southwest of Istanbul.  It was worth getting up early to see the sun rise over Kadikoy, 
where we took the train from Haydarpasa train station to Eskisehir.
Eskisehir was the construction point for the Berlin - Baghdad Railway beginning in 1894, with the locomotive business continuing to this day.  This plant was also commissioned to make the first cars of 100% Turkish parts and in 1961 made this first car.
In 1515, the Kursunlu complex was established, including a mosque, a school, a caravan saray (hotel).  Visitors traveling the silk road could stay for up to three days with no charge.  The caravan saray's were established one day travel from each other, or about 45 kilometers.

In the area, a soft white stone in dug from the earth and carved into intricate patterns.  Here are some pipes, which were in a shop, ...

 in the old fruit and vegetable market, which has now been restored and houses shops and restaurants.
Tourists visit Eskisehir to see the old restored Ottoman houses in the Odunpazari section of town.  The buildings are restored and painted bright colors along narrow cobble stone streets.
 The homes appear to be used primarily for residential purposes, ...
 although a few had items for sale and one was turned into a tea house.

 On the edge of the restored section, one unrestored building is standing.  Building construction seems to be wooden frame filled with cement and stucco on the outside.
 We stayed overnight in a boutique hotel which was formed from several restored houses.  We stayed in the blue house in the distance and it was charming.  Next door to our hotel is Turkey's only glass museum, but I will save that for another post.
 The Porsuk River runs through the center of Eskisehir and it has been made to look like a canal, with little walking bridges and canal boat rides.  Everything was so clean and well maintained in Eskisehir, I thought I was in a different country!

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