Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tatvan to Ankara by train

I hope you are not getting too fed up with all the train photos. You will just have to put up with all the scenery.

As usual, my carriage was at the back end of the train. There is another train that comes out this way called the Trans-Asia Express that continues on to Tehran in Iraq. From Ankara to Tatvan you use Turkish carriages and then you take the ferry across the lake to Van before going on to Tehran in Iranian carriages. It runs once a week and only takes international passengers going to Iran so I could not get on it.

I was puzzled why the train climbed up into the hills rather than travel on the flat plain below.

Plenty of food. Before leaving the hotel, I bought a couple of loaves of bread at a nearby shop. And of course, I had cheese and juice. I had not been able to find beer in Tatvan.

Novel use of the old steel sleepers.

Yet another military installation.

Each time I saw one of these shepherds, I wondered what they thought about all day.

Some videos to give you an idea of the speed of the water. White water enthusiasts would enjo some of the stretches of water that are much rougher than what you see here.

Another dam under construction.

Notice the tipped over wagon lying down the hill.

It looks like they are building another railway line to replace the line I was on that would be submerged by the next dam downstream.

I would not want to cross this.

In certain areas, these stork nests were common.

More future train line.

Not all construction goes well.

Mosque under construction.

There is something very relaxing travelling in a compartment by yourself and watching the sun go down.

Bright sunshine the next morning before we arrived in Ankara.

My train in Ankara. I had thoroughly enjoyed these long train trips. It would have been better to separate them by a week or so, but I was still happy I did both journeys. I think the scenery on the northern journey is a little better, but really the difference is very small.

I expected to find a taxi outside the station to take me to the hotel but a large demonstration was just starting and taxis were not available. I saw a couple of taxis about 100 yards away and approached them. They were not allowed to pick up passengers but they motioned towards an 'unauthorized' taxi who could take. He took me on a slightly longer route that bypassed several roadblocks and it only cost me a couple of dollars more. The demonstration appeared to be peaceful.

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