Blogs from Van, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van October 18th 2015

We finally arrived at our hotel in Van at about 9pm local time, after over 24 hours of travel from Melbourne. Our first flight from Melbourne landed us in Doha with enough time between flights to go through security (after standing in a long line for a long time) and get to our gate with about 30 minutes to spare. Our second flight to Istanbul almost resulted in the murder of the morbidly obese man who snored loudly from take-off to landing. After landing in Istanbul we waited in line at immigration while listening to some woman screaming at the security staff, got our passports stamped, grabbed our bags (mine was nearly the last to hit the carousel) and waited for our prearranged transfer to Istanbul’s other airport. After an hour and a half drive (top ... read more
Breakfast Street
Breakfast Street
Breakfast Street

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van November 13th 2014

The one quadrant of Turkey that I had yet to visit during my previous 4 trips was the southeast region wedged in among Iran, Syria and Iraq and way off most travelers' radars. I started in Van in the far flung reaches close to the Iranian border. It's a great town famous for their imposing castle and unique and delicious breakfasts and utterly bereft of Western tourists, or any for that matter, except for a few intrepid French heading to Iran. Definitely felt like winter was approaching out there not only because of the close to freezing nighttime temperatures but also because it was completely dark by about 4 p.m. Turkey only has one time zone so not only was sunset early but so was sunrise and that first call to prayer around 4 a.m. known ... read more
Breakfast At Sütçü Fevzi With Erol
Van Gölü
Hoşap Kalesi

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van September 11th 2013

I woke this , morning and was joined at the breakfast table by the tour driver who wanted to charge me 200€ to go to Nemrut Dagi I literally choked on me food he rushed off to get me water. Between gasps for air I was angrily telling him what I thought of that shit. He dropped his price but it is to late I cold fly to London for that, so I got a Syrian guy and a young Aussie backpacker to agree to share a cab out to a nearby attraction, when we got in he taxi Sameer asked how much to Nemrut Dagi, after some negotiation he set a price of 275 Turkish lira which was about half my earlier quote and they would share that cost. So off we went in the ... read more
The walled lane ways of the old city
The guest house courtyard
Climbing the mountain

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van September 14th 2011

In Van we stayed at the Azure Hotel, it was more expensive that what we had paid so far at 140 Lira (about NZ $98) and was over our budget, but it was hard turning away as there was a lift to our 5th story room (first lift so far) and the location was right in the middle of the city. Feyzi the manager spotted us as tourists the moment we stepped inside and offered his services as a guide the following day if we were interested. Sharing the cost with the Beate and Steffi meant it was a very reasonable full day escorted tour in his own vehicle. We originally had intended only to stay in Van for one night but decided to make it two days so as to go on the tour and ... read more
Entrance to Hosap Kalesi
The Defence Walls of Hosap Kalesi
Cay with Farzi

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van June 17th 2011

Před cestou do Vanu jsme se vyrazili posilnit do místní jídelny na buriani, což jsou kousky masa mezi dvěma tureckejma chlebama. Jídelny na výcghodě Turecka fungujou tak, že v přízemí jedí jenom chlápci a v prvním patře potom ženský nebo rodiny. Dalším místním obyčejem je, že když jdete s někým do restaurace, strhnce se na konci boj o to, kdo bude platit. Vyhrát tenhle souboj bez znalosti turečtiny dost dobře nejde, takže jsme ani jednou nedostali příležitost zaplatit. Před odjezdem jsme ještě zaskočili koupit Moně letenku do páteční Teheránu, což nám dalo příležitost zjistit, že ve zdejším kraji nejsou směnárny. Jejich funkci tu přebrali místní zlatníci. Dolmuš do Vanu byl narvanej po střechu, kromě sedadel se sedělo ještě na štokrdletech v uličce, což není nic příjemnýho, když cesta trvá přes čtyři hodiny. Silnice jsou zde v ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van October 16th 2009

Day 19 The second new day on board the Trans Asyan Ekspresi began much the same as the first. But now there were sightings of a wide river, and suddenly young children appeared by the side of the train tracks - there were no houses to be seen. A mosque, its bright silver dome dazzling brilliantly. At one stage we stop and most get out to stretch their legs, rushing back when the whistle blows. I had a good omelete and some bizarre sausages - short hotdogs, split and fanned out at either end - in the dining car. We reached Tatvan in the early evening, the train coming to a stop at a small ferry port on the edge of Lake Van, in the far east of Turkey, floating among the hills. We are to ... read more
Goods carriage into the train
Iranian friends

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van March 16th 2009

This journal from Van is dedicated to my brother and his new bride. Recently married in Sydney, they spent their honeymoon in Greece and Turkey and I’m now following in their footsteps. Despite my brother’s initial wish during the planning stage, they made a joint decision not to visit Van during their honeymoon. But never mind, cause your travel-obsessed family member has made it to this exotic destination guys! Van is situated in South Eastern Anatolia close to the border with Iran. I’ve been going great guns in Turkey since last sharing travel adventures with you, so let’s bring the journal up to date… We left off in Kusadasi, dear reader, and it was time to head out for the second day touring the famous sights near the city. This time our guide had the job ... read more
Library at Ephesus
Scenery in Cappadocia
Ruins at Ephesus

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van December 10th 2008

Every time I cross another border to west everything looks more similar to home, it heppen when I entered in Iran and now with Turkey. And more I go on and more my desire to go back in place like Pakistan and India becames stronger and stronger. But even the desire to see again all the people back home is so strong so...Anyways after a not so easy border crossing between Iran and Turkey (I had to sleep in a Mosque to save money for the taxi and I waited about 2 hours at the Turkish border with a temperature under zero for a minivan to reach the next town) today in Van is snowing!!!!! That's wonderful! here some picture from Iran... read more
on the street
lo zuccherino!!!!!!

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van October 20th 2008

After Esfahan we headed to Tabriz. This was basically a rest stop before making the border crossing into Turkey. It took us just over 4hrs to get to the border and then about another 2hrs leaving the Iranian border and entering Turkey. As far as border crossings go that was a good one! As soon as we entered the Turkish side = scarves were off, coats off and we went and bought an ice cold Efeas - the local beer. We drove into Dogybaizit for the night and it was quite obvious that we were in Kurdistan - the locals introduced themselves as Kurdish people rather than Turkish. I had been in Dogy 11 years before. Not much had changed. Mt Ararat was off in the distance. The palace was being renovated so we couldn't get ... read more
Lake Van
Pott tree!

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van August 29th 2008

There were many times I saw Van Lake in my dreams. I don't know why actually, those dreams usually start from Ankara or Istanbul and after a ride with a car I end up in the coast of Van Lake. Maybe why this place so much took a place in my under concience is I always find this great junk of water which is in the middle of the high mountains so far from the sea, interesting. I should have seen a place where occupied so much place in my dreams without being there even once, so I decided to do that in a long weekend holliday this month, a friend from the university days was also eager to see the region so we two headed to Van togather. The flight from Istanbul to Van takes ... read more
Ishakpasa Palace 2
After swimming in Nemrut lake
While having famous Van breakfast

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