Winter break is coming! I got a week off from the boring routine of school and decided to visit Bursa and its famous snowy mountain, Uludağ or Great Mountain. In the ancient time, Uludağ was called Mysian Olympos. The other name of Uludağ was Keşiş Dağı means ‘Mountain of the Monks’ because the mountain served as hermitage to Christian monks.
Since I live in Istanbul, Uludağ is just a vapur (ferry) away. To get there, I need to go to Bursa first, but wait for my story about Bursa. To reach Uludağ, just take buses from city centre to Bursa Tefferüç station and take the teleferik (cable car) to Uludağ ski resort. Bursa Teleferik is 9km long and the longest cable car line in Turkey and the world world. It costs 38TL for round trip journey, but if you have Turkish student card, you could get discount to 27TL.
From Teferrüç, the lowest station it takes around 25 minutes to get to Kurbağa Kaya station, the highest station and where all the resort located. The teleferik journey was indeed a delightful experience, thanks to the snow covered pine tree forest. I could imagine how mystically beautiful the forest is with the bears, wolves, and deers wandering around the forest. You could also see the stunning Bursa city view from the teleferik.
I disembarked at the last station, Kurbağa Kaya. Snow greeted me, but still no signs of ski resort as my eyes saw. I asked the security where the ski resort is and she said at the hotel. The nearest hotel that I could found was BOF Hotels. I saw a group of elderly people was walked there, so I followed them. Finally there it is, thick pile of snows!
I took photos here and there, playing with the snow, and watched people skiing. I finally decided to rent ski equipment, because I wasn’t sure if I could visit Uludağ again this year, so YOLO. I rent the ski equipment in Tarkan Ski Centre, just behind the BOF Hotel. It costs 70TL a day for ski board + stick and the shoes. If you want to rent another gear like clothes, glasses, and helmet, you need to pay more. But, since I am not a pro, so I just went with the basic. I also rent a locker for 20TL to store my belongings.
It wasn’t my first time skiing. Remember my ski experience in China? Yes, that was my first time skiing. But believe me, skiing in Uludağ is another whole level than my first ski experience. The slopes was really hard and steep for a beginner like me. I couldn’t even put my shoes on the board. When I did, I slide really fast and since I didn’t know how to stop, I just fell. Another mistake, I wore jeans, so I got it wet since I fell many times.
If you are a pro, you could use the ski lifts to get to the higher slopes. If I’m not mistaken it was 15TL for a ride, but it cost cheaper if you took the hourly package. Thank God I didn’t innocently use the ski lift, I might get injured tho. But really, if I happened to visit ski resort again, I want to take the ski lessons, because this sport seems cool and fun.
Exhausted of being fallen over and over again, I gave up skiing and take a lot of photos instead. It was so white and the view of the mountain was splendid. Despite the fact that day was gloomy, Uludağ was still beautiful. Wooden made cabin define the perfectness of it. I just wished that day the snow could fall so it could fulfil my dreamy imagination of winter wonderland. Uludağ, you had me at hello.