I opened my eyes facing the lacquered wooden ceiling. I was hearing the sound of running water. Somebody was cleaning the yard. Everything was so quiet. It was too early to wake up… I thought I could enjoy the bed a little more.
Around 9.00 we get up to take our breakfast at the yard, under the pergola. The town was so tempting. We started to think of spending one more day there... Anyway we had to get ready for departure. Before we leave, we walked up the hill where the renovated folkloric museum was located. The characteristic orange building which you can see from any point of the town.
The museum hosts photographic material (since 1925), paintings, clothes, furniture, appliances, tools, coins etc. At the basement, you can find the revival of a pharmacy, a shoemaker, an ironsmith, an old times shop with spices.
At the back side of the museum is the old clock tower. The numbers are written in Arabic symbols. I didn’t have the strength to climb up to the top. Ploumisti did it! At the top she met a winsome old man who was delighted to inform the visitors about the clock story. The more people he sees, the most his happiness. Of course he was speaking only Turkish.
We left Bursa, having the best impression, following the signs for Istanbul. The distance is apprx. 400 km. Until Bolu (120 km), where we stopped for refueling, we were driving on the national road without problems. After Karabuk and until Gereme, the road comes over a beautiful green landscape. Just before Gereme we saw the highway, but we didn’t take it.
At the gas station, the helpful owner gave us information for the route, the lake Iznik, Bursa and the coastal connection with Istanbul. We decided to take the highway until Adapazari (115 km), in order to save time.
The cost was 7,5 YTL/motorbike, a very considerable amount for the local finance. Although the road is in very good condition, the usage is expensive.
The most difficult part was from Adapazari to Bilecik. The narrow road, full of bumps and trucks, is the central way to Antalya. These certain 40 kilometres needs your full attention.
After Pamukova, we turned right we followed the way to Iznik. An also narrow but deserted road, through pine trees and farming.
We reached Iznik from the east side, the White Gate. Iznik is a place with rich history. Foretime it was named “Nikea” and used to be the center of great kings. Unfortunately, we read about it after we got past, on our next stop to Soloz, the south lakeside way to Bursa. We promised ourselves that we will visit Iznik on our next trip to Turkey!
In reference with the lakeside way, I must say that I was not impressed. In fact it is an olive grove with a few small hamlets. The development of tourism is almost non-existent. Some open-air cantinas and fish taverns are the only choices for the visitors.
A construction with running water was the reason we stopped at Soloz. The friendly atmosphere helped us spend some time pleasantly and enjoy a nice cup of tea. We continued for the 40 last kilometers left. The ride until Gemlik was easy. About 10 km before Bursa we were in front of an unbelievable traffic jam! The ventilators were on and our patience was exhausted! Around 6.30 p.m we reached the town. We continued to the central square, Ataturk’s square. We were trying to drive thorough this unbelievable traffic jam, not knowing where to head for. We were just looking for accommodation. Madness… We followed the signs for Uludag Park and we reached a point with a perfect panoramic view of the city. But no hotels…!
We returned back to the centre, following the signs for Cerirge. This amphitheatrically build suburban is the place where all the thermal spa hotels (Terma Hotels) are located. It’s the center of attraction for many tourists, usually elderly people.
We ended up to Mutlu Termal Motel (70YTL/double room & breakfast) which was the most economic and dignified solution. After a quick walk around to find something to eat (the place is famous for the kebabs), around 10.30 pm we returned to our hotel, thinking about trying the spa.
At the ground floor was a specially shaped area with a small stone pool and hot running water (40-45 C) with therapeutical properties is coming in. I am not sure about the temperature. For me it was impossible to put inside more than my legs, and that’s only for a short time. More pleasurable was to through water on me with the water jug, after mixing it with cold water of course. We stayed there less than 30 minutes.
Visibly relaxed, before we go to our room, we stayed for a while talking with the receptionist – who did not speak English- making jokes about the temperature of the water…