When I was getting ready for our big trip to Turkey, taking a ride on the world’s longest gondola lift definitely wasn’t something I anticipated doing. Not because it wasn’t interesting to me…but because I had no idea such an attraction could be found in Turkey! Who keeps track of where long gondola lifts are located after all haha. Anyway when we got to Bursa and the idea was put forward to take a ride up the mountain, I was definitely all in. I’ve loved gondola lifts since I was little and rode the one at the San Diego Zoo; there’s just something amazing about floating through the air and taking in the sights below you.
Just a bit of information to start out with: Bursa Uludağ Gondola/Bursa Teleferik is a 5.5-miles-long gondola lift that connects the city of Bursa with the ski resort/park at on Uludağ mountain. The journey is 22 minutes long (SUCH a dream for lift lovers like me!) and reaches an elevation of 6,140 feet. And yes, it is the longest gondola lift in the entire world! SO FREAKING AWESOME!
We decided to take the lift up in the morning and spend the day in the mountains (more on that later…I took over 100 pictures that day aka way too many for one post), and I was really pumped to get out of the city heat. If you didn’t know this about me, Southern California has truly spoiled me with its dry heat so when faced with humidity I have zero tolerance and become the biggest complainer on earth. Anyway :] So we drove to the bottom station and had to do that anxiety-inducing thing when you get onboard gondola lifts…you know when everyone has to get on while it’s still moving because they obviously don’t stop the entire line for each passenger to board? I always get scared I won’t make it or I’ll just barely get on and will drop my purse out the still-open door or something. Anyone else?
Amazingly, all six of us got on board without incident (😏) and the journey began. Can I just say it was the most incredible, magical gondola lift I’ve ever been on? 22 minutes of floating above towering, tree-coated mountains as the city fell further and further into the distance. One of the most breathtaking moments was coming up above the clouds, being fully emerged in the mountain air without a human in sight beyond our party. Some moments were truly heart-stopping, the lift being so high above the ground and the mountain below so steep…the feeling is impossible to describe. It’s exhilarating and peaceful at the same time.
Besides the beautiful surroundings, the thing that made this trip so unique to me was how incredibly silent the gondola lift was. I’ve never been on one that barely made a sound; usually they make squeaking noises and you can hear yourself moving along the track. Not so on Bursa Teleferik. If we paused our conversation, it was so quiet that we could hear the wind in the trees, the birds chirping. It made me feel like I was truly floating in the air, as if the gondola wasn’t there at all. That feeling was also enhanced by the fact that the side opposite the door was just a big floor-to-ceiling window (see below)…it was easy to imagine we were just in the sky.
At the end of the line, there is a cute little village to explore with shops, food, and a petting zoo. We decided to hike up to the very top of the mountain thinking it would be quick…boy were we wrong. But that’s a story for another post. At the end of the day we ate at one of the places in the village, a picnicky area in the woods. You pick what kind of meat and veg you want at the front and they bring it out to you raw, and each table has its own grill so you can prepare your food to your liking. It was lovely…lots of tourists, lots of cooking, lots of chatter.
If I lived in Bursa I’d for sure make this trip at least once a month, even if I didn’t stop in the village. The gondola lift was one of my favorite experiences of the entire five week trip, it was just so breathtaking and as I said above, I truly felt like I was a part of the sky when we were on it. I wish it was easy to just teleport to that first station to clear my mind whenever I was having a stressful day. The enchanting peacefulness of that 22 minutes trip is one I’ll never forget.
What’s the best gondola lift you’ve ever been on?