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Current location : Dogubayazit, Turkey (Google map)
Last entry date : 04 May 2008

Ishak Pasa Palace located on the hills overlooking Dogubayazit

I left Urgup on Wed 30/Apr/08 for Erzincan 450km away. A couple more days more at Cappadocia would have been been ideal to see most of the ancient sites in the area. Its easy to zip right up the dwellings by motorbike and get around to points of interest. What a miss for not seeing the underground cities !!

My plan now was to head towards the Iran border some 1000km away via the northern route. A 2 day ride this time round now that I have finished playing the tourist bit. It was a mixed day on way to Erzincan with rain and sunshine. The roads would wind slowly upwards into the mountains as its high country now. There was snow at 2000+ meters. My friend Ozhan had me booked up at Hotel Sembol in Erzincan so I took my time stopping to take some photos along the way. So did the police. Twice I was radar checked and got a speeding ticket for one. What do I do with a ticket that’s taking up valuable space ?? And so did the soldiers who puts up checkpoints along the road. There have been history of troubles between the Turkish and Kurdish people. The soldiers just asked to see my passport and waved me on.

I had my first Turkish haircut that evening at Erzincan while still in my riding gear at the barber shop across the hotel. Mr Rahmi, the barber, so graciously refused to accept me to pay. He says its his friendship present to me and to Malaysia. Again, I’m the stranger. I later exchanged with him a small souvenir that I brought from France. Felt better after. Have been too well treated here. I make friends in one day that I would take ages elsewhere.

With a few weeks of riding behind me, the 500km distance the next morning from Erzincan to Dogubayazit, last big city before the Iran, did not seem too long. Same routine along the way : stop at filling stations, a little pee, maybe a little cup of tea offered at the station and its quickly back on the saddle. Now and then some stops for photo shoots. The time actually past by quickly when you get wind noise inside the helmet. The big highlight that morning was meeting Marjam Gorgiev from Macedonia in the middle of nowhere and he tells me he is cycling his way to Beijing China to the Olympics. This is incredible, and he has just 2 small bags and a simple bicycle with him. I’m jealous – his courage is so huge. The big impression that evening was the majestic Mt. Ararat rising from the hills just before Dogubayazit. Some people believe that Noah’s Ark came to rest here on Mt. Ararat. Wished it was a clear day when the photos were snapped of this legendary mountain.

Dogubayazit is predominantly a Kurdish city. Booked into Hotel Tahran in city centre at Euro 10.00 / day with wifi connection thrown in – how bad can that be as I remember its hard to find internet café’s in Italy and its Euro 6.50 / hr internet connection at my 2** hotel near Venice. My favourite Turkish food is everywhere, good and cheap. Together with Kenin who worked at the hotel, the next morning we rode to the other famous site – the Ishak Pasa Palace built some 300 years ago. It’s a grand palace with grand view of Dogubayazit in the valley below. Life is not fast paced at Dogubayazit, but you can find many small shops and enterprising people here. I needed to cut a strop that tie my baggages and the hotel manager went next door to the barber to get a scissor. Then to sew up the end of strop, the tailor around the corner did it in 2 minutes free of charge. That’s how life is here – not that complicated and as I gather, there are soft contacts amongst the people and there is warmth too in their contacts.

19 Responses to « The northern cities of Erzincan & Dogubayazit  »

  1. Hi there,
    Your site is getting more and more interesting ….. very beautiful sceneries, wonderful people and !nice foods I presumed.
    Remember to get enough rest before going on your next journey.
    Road conditions are different and maybe difficult from now on ….. got to be alert.
    Lost weight eh! ….. must makan properly.

    Regards
    PeterMaglinGideonGregory

  2. i keep looking at your photos. They are beautiful and the comments very complete. So many souvenirs for you. Do take care of yourself and eat well. Love, lydia.

  3. je suis très fier de toi et je le serai encore plus quand on te reverra en malaisie ! profite bien de ton voyage car après tu seras coincé avec nous !! 🙂 bisous : your son

  4. Siew Hoon & Victoria4 May 2008 à 10:58 pm

    Hi-Sheen,
    Beautiful photos & friendly people again.Food looks good too.
    Take care.

  5. I feel like I’m being transported back in time. Nice to see you’re enjoying yourself. I believe you will put on weight with so much nice food.
    Cheers,
    Teresa

  6. So many colors… it’s beautiful!!!

  7. Wow!!!! The lovely captivating photos are great. I envy you, Sheen. Considering that this is just the start of your journey, absorb the rich culture and cherish friendship you’ve made along the way. Love every minute of it. Rest well and take care.

    Cheers
    Mike

  8. Beautiful people, beautiful country……really enjoying your photos. Take good care, rest well before moving on to your next destination.

  9. Salut Sheen,
    Un peu tard arrivent mes commentaires …(je n’ai aucune raison valable). Tes photos sont superbes (j’aime celle des gens que tu as rencontrés, qui sourient …) et tes histoires me fait voyager un peu depuis mon bureau.
    Bonne continuation et attention aux radars !

  10. The view of Mt Ararat is fantastic. It’s surprising to find they have snow in such a dry and arid place. I can’t imagine how it would be to climb this mountain. Since the weather is so hot over there, don’t forget to drink lots of water.

    Regards,

    Teresa

  11. Quelle belle aventure! je t’envie. La prochaine fois je viendrais avec toi!j’ai hâte de te rejoindre en Malaisie. Bisous, Pearl

  12. coucou mon chéri…Tout Gattières est avec toi!!!A quand les prochaines photos???On attend tous avec impatience les images d’Iran. Bisous! lydia

  13. tes belles soeurs8 May 2008 à 1:29 pm

    coucou beau frere
    on espere que tout va bien pour toi, prends soin de toi, nous t`aimons et pensons beaucoup a toi. signe tes belles belles soeurs magnifiques, myriam et benedicte

  14. tes belles soeurs8 May 2008 à 1:31 pm

    au fait bisous

  15. Salut Sheen… Que de belles photos qui nous font un peu voyager et voir ce que tu découvres chaque jour. Quelle aventure et que de souvenirs tu emmagasines… et c’est pas fini !
    Bonne continuation et prends soin de toi.
    biz
    Marie-Laure.

  16. jean luc et myriam11 May 2008 à 8:56 am

    salut sheen bon sejour je vois que tu en profites bien les photos sont super bisous de nous 2

  17. Hi sheen,i live in the UK for 8 years, i was searching at the place on the google where i was born there,in a small town Erzincan,Turkey in 1968. when i was searching my birth town pictures, google was bringing to many web pages on to screen. Ive suprised when Ive seen your page is about your expedetation and your Erzincan pictures as well.this was great for me, when Ive seen lot of the my lovely town pictures on the special web site. Erzincan town is the place Ive never been again there since my family moved to Istanbul.I grew up and studied in Istanbul. In 2000 I decided moving to Britain to study and improve myself. Shortly the thing is i wanna share it with you and others,you ve showed something to people who, there are still people somewhere in the world who is not lost their hospitality and there re still people somewhere in the world who are waiting for smiling friends.

  18. Ali,

    We have been trying to tell Sheen that too ….. !hopefully to get more out of him

  19. Hi friends…. really a nice trip!

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