TRIP FROM ISTANBUL TO BURSA
After ate our breakfast of instant noodles, Alif and I left our room at 6:20 AM, took tram from Sultanahmet departed at 6:35 AM (operating hours started at 6:00 AM). After 15 minutes, we arrived at Kabatas the directly walked to IDO Bus ferry pier nearby.
I was worried that tickets would be sokd out then tried few times to purchase tickets through their website but always failed. Glad that Nanang already helped me to get the tickets in advance, 23 TL for both of us (Alif paid for child fare) plus 5 TL of service fee.
Not much passenger on this first departure on Monday morning, we got seats on upper deck, front row, left side of the ferry.
The ferry departed at 7:00 AM. After 10 minutes, it made 10 minutes stop at Kadikoy to take more passengers.
The voyage was very comfortable with controlled room temperature to beat the cold weather outside. We watched the sun rises beautifully at 7:30 AM from our seats at left side of the ferry because we sailed across Marmara Sea from north to south.
BURSA: YESIL MOSQUE AND YESIL TURBE, ULUCAMI AND COVERED BAZAAR
After 120 minutes, we arrived at Guzelyali Pier, Bursa (9:00 AM). Alif and I took Bus No.1/GY (@2.5 TL) for 20 minutes trip to Emek Istasyonu (9:20 AM – 9:45 AM). Ticket must be purchased at a kiosk nearby before get into the bus. It was a nice and clean bus, departed once after seats were full (but still took passengers along the way).
The next trip was Metro Line 1 from Emek to Demirtaspasa, 40 minutes trip which was faster than bus considering the traffic jam on that Monday morning.
Food and beverages were cheaper at Bursa compared to Istanbul. After got off at Demirtaspasa Istasyonu, Alif and I bought 6 pieces of pide @1 TL for breakfat, later we enjoyed cay @0.75 TL at a tea shop on our way to Yesil Cami.
It was 12:00 PM already when we left Yesil Cami and Tomb of Sultan Mehmet (Yesil Turbe). Ten minutes later, when we were still on our way to Ulucami, then I could hear Adzan Zuhr (calling for noon pray) was announced from both mosques.
I asked for bus to go from Yesil Cami to Ulucami, but everyone told us to walk probably because it was not too far to reach by foot.
Eventually, it took 45 minutes for us to arrive at Ulucami (including a stop for ice cream cone at Burger King @1 TL).
The mosque was enormous, as main tourism spot in the city then most of guided tour made a stop at Ulucami for Shalat Zuhr. Turkish people really liked kids, a local lady suddenly gave him a yummy chocolate bar, “Hobby”.
After prayed in Ulucami, later we strolled a while inside the covered bazaar in front of the mosque. From there, Alif and I walked uphill to Tophane for dolmus ride to Uludag. Fare = 12 TL per seat.
The dolmus hadn’t moved yet when Adzan Ashr (calling for afternoon pray) was announced from Ulucami at 2:30 PM, there were still 3 vacant seats.
When finally departed from Tophane, it was 2:45 PM already. Too late, but anyway after 50 minutes of trip then we still had just enough time to enjoy the snowy mountain before sunset at 5:00 PM.
Alif tried to ski, equipment rental = 25 TL. To get a trainer would cost 100 TL per hour then we didn’t take it. He could slide few meters by himself but after a while then he prefered to play with snow, making his version of snowman.
At 5:10 PM, we got back to equipment rental office to return the ski biard and sticks also changed his wet pants and gloves (luckily his jacket was waterproof then he could continue wearing it).
We left Uludag with same vehicle as booked with the driver, 5:30 PM at the same place where he dropped us. After 50 minutes, Alif and I got back to Tophane, then we ate dinner (burger and donner kebab with potato fries plus softdrink/yogurt = 12 TL for 2 persons) at Sanli Fastfood near dolmus stop.
Last trip in the city was Bus 38 to Bursa Otogar. When I asked for direction to the restaurant owner, he didn’t only say it but assign one of his staff to walk us to the bus stop and he helped us to buy the ticket (this time I paid only for one person, 2.50 TL, he said that Alif got free ride).
TRIP FROM BURSA TO SELCUK
After 30 minutes trip without traffic jam, Alif and I arrived at Bursa Otogar. The bus terminal really impressed me, huge building, very clean. The pray room (mescid) was nice and warm, with separated section for women ablution. There was a massage chair in front of the pray room (1 TL for 3 minutes), then Alif tried it. He liked it!
He was tired and sleepy, since left Sultanahmet (6:20 AM) finally he could lay down in the pray room after 14 hours (8:20 PM). We still had more than 2 hours before our bus departure time, although we didn’t go to Inkaya Cinari (600 years old cinar tree) but I was glad because Alif had comfortable nap in the pray room before 7 hours trip by Kamilkoc Bus from Bursa Otogar to Selcuk Otogar.
The bus terminal, like other public places in Turkiye, also provided public toilets. Entrance fee was 0.90 TL, more expensive than public toilets at Bursa’s Ulucami (0.50 TL), but still cheaper than Istanbul (1 TL).