Page 2 of Sepulchre Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 14th 2010

With my backpack on I walked alongside the tatty train on the station platform looking for a word or number that I could read. I still couldn’t read a bloody thing in Cyrillic - despite it only taking about ‘an hour with a beer to learn’ according to the Lonely Planet at least. So I climbed aboard the train and loitered in the gangway looking up and down for a conductor. The interior of the train was fairly modern with fairly modern seating but they were all occupied byt hot-looking people. It was stuffy inside, there was no air-conditioning and the only cooling ventilation was provided by open windows. The conductor eventually came along and looked at my ticket - I asked for a seat number - but he didn’t point to anywhere and moved on ... read more
the boys v and c

Europe » Bulgaria » Burgas Province September 12th 2010

From Istanbul I got a bus to neighbouring Bulgaria, which meant that after 17 months I was officially back in Europe and politically too - Bulgaria, unlike Turkey is a fully fledged member of the European Union. Fellow travellers had told me that Bulgaria was ‘okay’, ‘alright’, ‘shit’, ‘corrupt’ and ‘alright, avoid Sofia’ and ‘watch your bags’. Posts on travel forums like the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree had headings such as ‘Bulgaria - avoid, avoid, avoid!’. However as hard-boiled traveller Paul Theroux tells us, “all travel is a lesson in self-preservation” and I imagined Bulgaria to not be too different to everywhere else I’d been and I had prevailed so far. Besides I needed live music and was going there for that. I’d fallen upon the Spirit of Burgas music festival wh... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars » Ani September 5th 2010

The taxi driver in the Georgian town of Akhaltsikhe laughed at me as I put on my seat belt - he demonstrated the cause of his mirth - his frame and stomach were so big that the seat belt wouldn’t reach across him. I assumed his sheer corpulence would make all head on collisions a non-issue. So off we went along the road to the border with nice mountain scenery but atrocious roads; despite this being one of the main highways between Turkey and Georgia, we spent most of the time slowing down suddenly and veering from right to left in order to avoid the giant pot holes. Borders are such weird places and Vale was no exception. The taxi driver dropped me off at the Georgian border gate, or rather the farm yard - because ... read more
1 Georgia to Turkey - 6 Aug 2010
5 Georgia to Turkey - 6 Aug 2010
6 Georgia to Turkey - 6 Aug 2010

Asia » Georgia » Northern Georgia » Georgian Military Road » Kazbegi August 31st 2010

It was time to get out of Tbilisi and to explore the rest of the country; Saventi, a region in the north sounded great - home to unique and isolated villages set in the Caucasus Mountains and a chance to do some walking as well as see the hundreds of stone towers that were built between the 9th and 13th centuries to successfully keep invaders out. The problem was that it would take a whole day to get there (and by an expensive jeep) it just wasn’t worth it unless I was in a group of people to share the costs. My alternative was a straight journey north along the Georgian Military Highway to the town of Kazbegi and just a few kilometers away from the Russian border. Set in the Caucasus Mountains it would also ... read more
3 Kazbegi - 31 July 2010
5 Kazbegi - 31 July 2010
9 Kazbegi - 31 July 2010

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi August 10th 2010

From Yerevan's bus station I caught a 'marshrutka' northwards. What's a 'marshrutka? well it's not a bus per se, it's a Ford Transit van fitted out with seats - it and reminded me of being in the school football team). Even the three Iranians stuffed in the back weren't happy with the transport, particularly the sickly diesel fumes that had to breath in. They were on holiday in Armenia and were only visiting Georgia for a day or two and as they spoke excellent English so we got talking. The two guys and one girl I 'think' they were fairly privileged Iranians - they were abroad for a star and regaled me with stories of cousins and uncles living in England, Canada and the USA; doctors, economists, academics. One of them had even studied ... read more
5 Tibilisi - 28 July 2010
6 Tibilisi - 28 July 2010
7 - Tbilisi - 27 July 2010

Middle East » Iran » North » Zanjan August 7th 2010

Hamadan Hamadan, was known in classical times as Ecbatana - the ancient capital of the Medes - and was once one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. Nope, I'd not heard of it either! More often than not, travelling in Iran makes you shamefully aware of your own ignorance about things removed from that speck land at the end of the Eurasian land mass known as Europe. To a self-described history buff such as myself it is equally embarrassing and irritating to come across something such as Ecbatana for the first time and know absolutely nothing about it. Zilch. Heavy sighs for a classical education.... According to my LP guide book the ancient city of Ecbatana once had seven layers of walls - as long as classical Athens and two of which were coated ... read more
3 Zanjan - 7-8 July 2010
4 Soltaniyeh - 6 July 2010
4 Zanjan - 7-8 July 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Khorramabad August 6th 2010

After leaving Hamid and his brother in Dezful I got in a taxi which then took me to a shuttle taxi stop. Not really a stop but where 5 cars were parked underneath a tree on a siding beside the road. My intention was to get to Khorramabad which had a famous fort above the city. Fortunately Hamid had relayed my destination and instructions to the taxi driver who then relayed them to a shuttle driver. Amusing the local drivers somebody dumped my bad into the boot of a care and told me to sit in the back. I got the poor seat option again and was put in second next to young guy with a bandage around his head. A third man got in front and then the fourth got in next to me. We ... read more
1 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010
15 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010
24 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Shushtar July 30th 2010

In the care of the kings of hospitality It is safe to say that my time in Bushehr had refreshed me; the warm hospitality; a clean environment; the unexpected social gatherings; time away from paid hotels, the dirt and concrete pillows and the unknown content/cleanliness of bedding. It was also a holiday away from my own ‘holiday’ the not-really-doing-anything in particular; the lack of any need to do ‘tourist’ stuff. It was great. But my visa was for a month only and I was already beyond the half way point, so regardless of the genuine (or not) invitations to stay longer I had to continue my journey north bound to the ‘deeply historic’ (Lonely Planet) city of Shushtar. But before I left, 'Fatima's' sister ‘Farahnaz’ surprised me by a farewell gift of an embroid... read more
18 - Shushtar- July 3 2010
17 - Shushtar- July 3 2010
1 - Shushtar- July 3 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Bushehr July 23rd 2010

I’d finished with Shiraz and so the plan was to continue on my journey in Iran. I wanted to head north but the only option was an overnight bus journey that was ten hours long.I can't sleep on buses, something to do with being in an upright position. I also dislike being sleepy and grumpy the next day and so many other things... so Fatima suggested we go to her home town instead. I hadn't planned on going to Bushehr but that sort of appealed - there's way too much planning involved in my trip so far. Here's to the unplanned... I had arranged to meet Fatima at the bus station in Shiraz but as they never seem to be in the centre of town I had to get a taxi from my guesthouse. The taxi ... read more
Ticketman - Real nose job bandage? or fashion?
4 - Shiraz to Bushehr - 29 June 2010
7 - Shiraz to Bushehr - 29 June 2010

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz July 15th 2010

From the city of Kerman I got yet another bus westwards to the famous city of Shiraz. The Iranian chick I'd met in Esfahan had told me to meet her there and she would show me around. At the bus station I stood and stared at the coach. For some odd reason the bus had a Crystal Palace Football Club sticker on the back window; and this is by no means the sole occurrence of a mid-table English football club finding itself in Iran. I recently spotted a coach with hooligan- fantastic Millwall Football Club badge. Somehow the former team coaches of English football clubs have been sent to Iran - and I don't know why. I think that's why I've kept smiling. The journey took seven hours of winding roads through more of Iran's hot ... read more
Crystal Palace on tour?
Kerman to Shiraz - 5 - June 26 2010
Kerman to Shiraz - 9 - June 26 2010

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