There are many things that people in the states will undoubtedly find interesting about Turkey and so it makes it rather hard what to tell you about. One unique thing that we have encountered is in many of the parks in Ankara, in addition to toys and swings for kids to play on, there are random pieces of exercise equipment. I encountered a leg press, the equivalent of an elliptical, stationary bikes as well as equipment for sit ups and pull ups. It was really rather strange, but people do put them to use on a regular basis. I’ve seen many people in their work clothes stop and do some pull ups or run for a few minutes on an elliptical. The park we first went to was called Atakule Park. It was near a movie theatre that plays films in English with Turkish subtitles, so we may be frequenting that place. We found Atakule when we were out exploring the city.
We discovered later that there is actually a similar park only a few minutes walk from our apartment, complete with a straight running track made out of the same recycled rubber as any other track in the states, so I may have to check that out soon. The last I looked there is only one marathon in Turkey and it is in Istanbul in October, so I hope to run that in 2010. I’ve heard rumors of one being started in the south this Spring as well, so we’ll see if I can be ready for that one as well. It’s much cheaper to run marathons here than in the states. It’s $20 to enter the Istanbul Marathon (which coincidentally is the only marathon that goes between two continents) and it was $80 to enter the Twin Cities Marathon.
I’m sure we’ll have much more on the uniqueness of this country soon enough.