Day 8 of our road trip was probably the most uneventful day of all and probably one that I would have planned differently if I were to do the trip again. In my planning, I had thought there was a ton to do in the area and we’d appreciate 3 nights in Van. But I didn’t specifically plan out every activity (which I did for the other locations). And then there wasn’t as much to do, unless we wanted to drive quite far. It also didn’t help that our hotel was super hot and the bed was horribly uncomfortable, so we were all ready to leave! So if I was to redo it, I’d do 2 nights in Van, and add a night to Diyarbakir (our next destination) or pick another location to do for a night.
In the morning we drove to Edremit, a town not too far from Van that had a walking path along the lake. There were two playgrounds along the walking route, a few piers, and street parking. The walking path is between this point and this point approximately. The route is about 2.3 km (1.4 miles). There are two playgrounds along the route. This one is a smaller one right along the road with a pirate ship, some exercise equipment and a pier. The other playground is more off the road with a prettier setting and some trees. It has a fun obstacle course that is great for the PreK-5th crowd. It is here.
You can park along the road fairly easily (or at least when we were there in the morning) and walk along the water. One of the piers had a big Edremit sign and a glass bottomed section (which was fairly scratched up and hard to see through). It also looked like across the road were restaurants, but we didn’t eat there. It was a nice walk, though mostly along the side of the road. One area had steps down to a very small, but sandy, beach. So we went down and touched the lake. We like touching all the bodies of water we visit, even if we aren’t swimming.
After our walk and playground time, we drove to Kocaelipark back towards Van. It is a large-ish park with several playgrounds, restaurant, picnic areas, and 2 parking lots. The parking lot we used is marked incorrectly on GoogleMaps (at least as of today). You enter from the round-a-bout, which is at a light. You can enter from either road direction. The entrance is here. GoogleMaps shows no road, but there is. The other parking lot entrance is only accessible from the road heading west, and is here.
The lake view is great and the park is very pretty. The park bathrooms are squat potties only and are at the far eastern end. They were 1 tl each.
There are several playgrounds. Some are more traditional, but one is a very tall structure with very long slides. It is at the north eastern end of the park. There are lots of picnic tables, benches, and shade throughout the park.
We ate lunch at the restaurant tagged Van Büyükşehir Belediyesi Sosyal Tesisler on GoogleMaps (which is not a restaurant name, but gets you the location). They had a large menu with options. Pides, meats, salads, soup of the day, and more. It was good food and the service was fine. Nice lake view.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in our hotel, relaxing. Our suite had a large tub with jets and coloring changing lights that the kids loved! We also did a video chat with my mom.