Sunday, August 1, 2010


I've started another road trip adventure. This time I am doing a loop of the main central Anatolian cities: Eskisehir and Ankara. This grand adventure was sparked when I was told that the trains are very cheap to these destinations. Thus, I took the Dogu Ekspresi from Haydarpasa to Eskisehir this morning. A quick note: Haydarpasa is the Anatolian Istanbul train station located in Kadikoy, roughly 25 minutes from my dorm. The Dogu Ekspresi is the laughing stock of the trains in Turkey. This train runs every morning from Haydarpasa going east and from Kars going west. It takes 2 days to make the journey between the two cities; this train is the slowest because of all the stops it makes along the way. Not only is it the slowest train it is the cheapest as well, and, of course, you get what you pay for.  I paid 7.75tl for the first part of my journey.

Now, I have always disliked trains. I can't remember a time when they didn't give me a spook. Because of this fear I have tried to avoid trains for the majority of my life. I distinctly remember the first time I rode on a subway-metro system. My mom, my older sister, Elizabeth, and I went to Washington D.C. for the spring break of my senior year of high school. Of course we had to take the subway to get around the city because having to park the car and move it so often would have been chaotic - I was forced into it. I am actually grateful for this experience because it prepared me for coming to Istanbul where I ride the metro twice a day.

As much as I would like to write that the metro in Istanbul has cured me of this abnormal phobia, I cannot. It has not. Every time the train wavered or wobbled the slightest bit I flinched and shut my eyes painfully tight. It took me 3.5 hrs to get out of my seat. I'm on the right path though because at least I got out of my seat. Unfortunately I looked like an idiot because I couldn't figure out how the doors worked to go between cars.

Once I arrived in Eskisehir I met up with my friend, Gur, and some of his friends. We went to Yazilikaya, Kind Midas' City. After that we got a bite to eat a local burger joint, and then we toured the older part of Eskisehir.

 Rock Tombs in King Midas' City

 Kind Midas' Monument

 Eskisehir is known for it's Meercshaum stone, which is commonly used for pipes. There is a museum we went to that held a lot of different styles of these pipes as well as other sculptures from the stone.

 There was also a glass art museum in the old district. This was one of the coolest pieces showcased.

Tomorrow I will see the downtown area, and then I am going to Ankara to visit my friend Utku.

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