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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars May 8th 2017

Erzerum ist türkisches Skigebiet, dafür eignet sich die Gegend prächtig , weit und breit kein Baum. Und jede Menge Berge. Und Erzerum liegt schon 1900 m hoch, Schneesicherheit ist gegeben. Sogar jetzt noch, in der Früh hatten wir ausgiebig Gelegenheit, die Schönheit der temporären Schneegrenze zu bewundern, sie lag nur wenig höher, als das Hotel. Bei der Abfahrt 6 Grad, immerhin UEBER Null. Als dann die Sonne höher stand und mehr Kraft hatte, stieg die Temperatur doch in den zweistelligen Bereich. Die Strecke Erzerum - Kars ist meine Lieblingsstrecke in der Tuerkei. Zuerst ein weites, baumloses Tal, beidseitig schneebedeckte Berge. Dann eine Schlucht mit reissendem Fluss, Nadelbäumen - ich freue mich jedes Mal über diesen Anblick. Nach vielen Kilometern ohne Baum und Strauch, geniesse ich diese richtig. Dann kam wieder ein weites, baumloses Tal - bis ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia September 21st 2016

KARS to FORREST CAMP Stage 103. 20 September, 2016 112.70 Kms SubT. Kms 2926.07. kms . Road Condition: goodWeather: cold 2c at start. MILD 17c. Blue Sky. Time in Saddle: 4:58:56. Av Speed: av. 22.6 kph. Av Cadence. 67. RpmElevation: 1014 m up; 1501 m downCalories burned : > 4500 Left Kars following the river valley, very scenic, but as it was in constant shade, the initial 15km was ridden in about 2c, very cold after past weeks, felt my hands becoming ice-blocks despite being in long fingered gloves. It warmed up mildly once we got into the sun, but with a mild headwind, it was still quite cool. The scenery all day was very appealing, a mix of woodland, cattle and sheep pasture, bubbling Creeks and small agricultural villages. The camp has green grass, is ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars September 20th 2016

KARS. REST DAY 2. 19 September,2016 Kars has many cheese shops and fresh honey stores. Cheesemaking, using cows' milk, was introduced during the Russian era 1875-1925. Bee keeping and honey production has been an industry here for a Millenia. The cheeses are large wheels of a tasty cheddar style. A cheese is also made using honey, I am still on the hunt! Like elsewhere along the Silk Road, there are many sweet cake stores. In Kars, the specialities are varieties of Baklava, (honey). Decided that I like Kars, it has attractive parks and buildings, a fantastic coffee house and some tasty food, and bustling city centre with promenading families in the evenings. Travel plans for the week ahead have been posted, 850 kms+, 7 kms of climbing and 9 kms of descent in 7 days, with ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars September 19th 2016

KARS. REST DAY 2. 19 September,2016 Kars has many cheese shops and fresh honey stores. Cheesemaking, using cows' milk, was introduced during the Russian era 1875-1925. Bee keeping and honey production has been an industry here for a Millenia. The cheeses are large wheels of a tasty cheddar style. A cheese is also made using honey, I am still on the hunt! Like elsewhere along the Silk Road, there are many sweet cake stores. In Kars, the specialities are varieties of Baklava, (honey). Decided that I like Kars, it has attractive parks and buildings, a fantastic coffee house and some tasty food, and bustling city centre with promenading families in the evenings. Travel plans for the week ahead have been posted, 850 kms+, 7 kms of climbing and 9 kms of descent in 7 days, with ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Kars September 18th 2016

DOGUBAZIT to KARS. 17 September, 2016 The time difference on crossing the Iran-Turkey border is 90 minutes backwards. Unfortunately it takes a few days to adjust. We were to meet at 7am for breakfast, however most participants were up and wandering around at 5.30 am ready to leave. Our usual departure time on the bike is between 6-7 am! We departed at 9 am, when the bus to transport us the 180 kms to Kars arrived. It was a good morning weather wise, coolish, but relatively clear sky. About 2 km from the hotel was our first army roadblock, concrete barriers, tank and personnel carrier and machine-gun toting soldiers. After a brief look in the bus we were on our way. No other holdups on route. We traveled along the Turkish- Armenian border for about 30 ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Dogubeyazit September 18th 2016

MAKU to DOGUBAZIT, TURKEY. 16 September, 2016 23 Kms SubT. Kms 2813.37 kms . Road Condition: ok Weather: MILD 27c cloudy. Time in Saddle: 55 mins Av Speed: av. 24.8 kph. Av Cadence. 71 RpmElevation: 150 m up; 0 m downCalories burned : > 1000 Today at breakfast we were told that the town we were to cycle to overnight had a terrorist issue with the PPK, the Kurdish Revolutionary Army, killing 7 policeman. Mid morning the Turkish Airforce retaliated bombing the village of the terrorists 15 kms from town. So the cycling after Iran was curtailed. Hence the short distance. We are hoteling rather than camping And tomorrow we will be bused to Kars, our next official rest day, one day early. We are restricted to the hotel building here in Dogubazit, which is 6 ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia September 18th 2016

KARS. REST DAY 1. 18 September, 2016. 4c at breakfast warming to a beautiful blue sky day. After breakfast drove east with 7 others to the town of Ani, on the Armenian border. An interesting few hours. Ani was first settled in 5000 BC. Its recent history has been turbulent. Its city walls were built in 961-977. It was an Armenian city and its gates open the Silk Road from the west. Its first Cathedral was built in 987 as Eastern Orthodox, the faith of the Armenians, however when the Moslem Seljucks raided in 1064, the captured Cathedral was turned into a Mosque, Fethiya (Victory) Mosque. However the Armenians were prolific builders and another church was constructed to honour St. Gregor, an important Orthodox Saint and priest. This church contains the first murals in Turkey. Built ... read more
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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 » Dogubeyazit October 4th 2015

The first thing you see when entering Turkey from Iran is a duty free shop stocked with whisky, vodka, gin etc. This is a bit surprising as much of eastern Turkey seems to be as dry as Iran. Not one of the restaurants we've been in has served any alcohol, and no supermarkets or convenience store type shops sell any, not even beer. We knew we were travelling again as soon as we got out of the immigration gates. Having found the dolmuş (mini bus) we then had to wait for it to fill up with passengers before the driver would leave. It must have been a slow afternoon as he struggled to find enough people, so after about 30 minutes he made an offer – if everybody paid one more lira each he'd leave, we ... read more
Ishak Pasha Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace

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




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