Visit to Uludag, Turkey

The title isn’t the most enticing, I know. But what to do, I always liked keeping it real and simple.

For all who know me, personally and on social media, you know my love for mountains and stars. For almost 2 years, I have been chasing the roads, chasing the mountain sun and chasing the milky way. I have also been crooning my neck (metaphorically) to get myself caught in a snowfall. Never happened. I always missed the show by a day or two, be it at the time I visited Dhanaulti, or the time I passed by Rohtang falling short of 4 hours for the year’s first snowfall. Luck, that is what I would say, you need the luck to experience a beautiful snowfall, something that was by my side my entire Turkey trip.

It was my 3rd day in Turkey. Was supposed to be 4th but if you have gone through my stories, you would know that we had to spend one day in Kuwait due to an uncommunicated delay in our flight.

The first two days in Istanbul wasn’t great. The first day went about being confused, the second day was ruined by the rains and bad weather. The third day, after wasting half the day waiting to get the cars we booked, we finally head off to Bursa. 3 wrong turns, lashing rains and a beautiful 3-hour drive later, we reach the hotel. We were running a day late in our itinerary and it was getting us all a little shaky. Our trip was tight and we couldn’t afford to lose days and time like that. We spent the evening in the hotel after being disappointed to find out that most places shut by 9 in Bursa (travellers, take notes.) So we go back to the hotel, order ourselves some lavish dinner and call it a night.

The next day was Christmas, and as we had planned, we were to take the Teleferic for a visit to Uludag. A mighty costly ride I would say, at 95 Turkish Lira. However, what we saw from our frosted cabin glass made up for it. Lines of snow-capped Christmas tree – just that till the eyes could see. We reach the highest drop point in Uludag, equipped with our snow gloves and masks and whatnot. We were 10 of us, 5 in each cabin. I was in the 2nd, so by the time I got off, my friends were throwing snow at each other. And there I was, caught in a snow fight! 10 mins into it and we realise our fingers are frozen, and our clothes would soon be drenched. So we disperse and go about exploring the area. I made a call to my mom to show her the place when I suddenly feel something powdery fall on my nose and eyelashes. It slowly increases and that’s when I realise – it’s a snowfall!

Next thing I know my brother is recording my madness on experiencing my first snowfall on the day of Christmas, surrounded by Christmas trees and some of my favourite people. That moment may soon fade away, but that feeling still makes my heart flutter. It was a surprise, there was no forecast of snow at all, but it happened.

I wish we could have stayed in Uludag a night. It would have been the most dreamy but expensive experience in Turkey at a minimum of INR 15000 per night (costlier than our balloon ride), but then again, we were already running a day late. So there we were, leaving this winter wonderland within 2 hours of visiting it, taking back memories and photos and a heart-tugging experience.

I guess what they say is right – expect the unexpected.