Another bus marathon, 22 hours. I thought on getting off in Diyarbakir, the centre of Kurd culture in Turkey, but when I crossed it by bus I found it a tasteless places, with no men in BOBMBACHOS pants, so I continued north in another uncomfortable bus for seven hours.
At 5:33 in the morning I arrived in Erzurum. It’s cold! Erzurum is 2000 meters high, the sun has just risen and my flipflopped feet transmit the cold sensation through my dorsal spine, my arms say the same. Cold still exists, I had even thought it was a fictitious feeling, and I really mean it, it was a sensation I started to doubt I’d remember.
The Palondeken ski resort is on the hill you see in the picture, they say it has incredible powder snow. Skiing is getting popular between the people that can afford it and they are extending the place. Seems it’s the best ski resort out of the 12 ointhe country, it even has sky jumps.
I arrive alone, Matt, after our days in Iraq has continued with his plan, he’s gone back to Syria. I stop two days to rest out of the heat and get updated with the blog, read a little bit and replace my sunglasses, an extra reason to have stopped in a place with a ski resort I imagined that they had more to offer, as a Syrian must be happy to have my cooool white sunglasses. I’m glad they were so scratched I sometimes didn’t wear them and preferred to be hit by the sun in my eyes, so the loss is not that bad.
A Cag Kebab, typical from the region, done on wood not in those heaters we see in Europe. I remembered this kebab from the time I went though Erzurum six years back. I’d lie if I’d tell you this didn’t help me make up my mind to stop here and not in another place. The table mat is a real Kilim
Seljuk style mosque, as you see the minarets are not thin and high as we are used to seeing, they are more fortified, more mountain style. This is the special style of all Erzurum buildings.
Here the Roman, Turk, Arab, Mongol, Armenian and Russian empires have passed through.
The city has a soviet atmosphere, it’s well structured with big avenues. There are a lot of students and even though it’s supposed to be very conservative I haven’t had that feeling.
It’s the highest Turkish capital, so the cold is warranted.
There is just one more Turkish stop, the old Armenian Capital.
It´s a very rural area.
Very… Ducks crossing the road.
To the Otogar to get another Bus. See you soon.