Back from Ankara

I now have my Iranian visa and hope to visit Iran in August 🙂

The Iranian Embassy is open Saturdays as they are closed on Fridays (Iran’s Muslim holiday) and Sundays (Turkey’s secular holiday). Normally an Iranian visa is valid for two months. As I wanted to go in August I asked them to extend the validity and now my 30-day visa is valid until 28 August. As banks were closed the official accepted the USD $50 payment in cash after originally asking me to place the money in an account. As Iran does not require visas for Turkish people the embassy is quiet. I believe this is the main reason I was treated so well and why self-serve tea, coffee and water were available. I don’t think the German, American, Australian or other embassies of countries Turks require visas to treat their guests so well.

In other news from Ankara:

– I visited the Cankaya weekly bazaar on Sunday. This provides the same function as the Mersin bazaar described here. However, the Cankaya bazaar:

*Is under a permanent shelter in its own space as opposed to the ‘tent verandas’ on Mersin’s street. I don’t know if the Cankaya bazaar space is used for the other 6 days.

*Has a greater number of suppliers selling a larger quantity of a larger variety of fruit and vegetables

*Features artichokes (enginar) much more than Mersin bazaar.

*Fruit and vegetables are generally of a higher quality but at a more expensive price. Cherries were up to 8 million TL per kilo for the best ones.

*Creates a far bigger rubbish pile by the end of the night.

– On Sunday night there was an amazing sunset combined with an occasional lightening strike – I wish I had a good time-lapse camera and there were no apartment blocks in the way.