From Greece to Armenia: a quick (motorized) journey across Turkey

Be warned, however, that we didn’t go to either Greece or Armenia. We could see the Greek island of Samos from Özdere, where we spent the kurban bayramı holiday with Ferda’s parents. Does that count?

IMG_20230703_105702 by bryandkeith on flickr

Defne and I had a short 5:30am self-guided tour of Selçuk when we switched buses between Antalya and Özdere.

IMG_20230626_054835 by bryandkeith on flickr

After our bus adventures in Tabasco, Ferda and I figured it’d be easy to get from Özdere to Urla. We switched buses in Seferihisar, and thankfully Ferda is talented enough with the cell phone to top up our İzmir travel card while we waited for the second bus. They don’t take cash. 🙁

IMG_20230705_121329 by bryandkeith on flickr

Friends in Urla made a yummy rakı meze mangal (bbq)

IMG_20230704_195604 by bryandkeith on flickr

and gave us a tour the next day of Klazomenai (near Urla’s small harbor), famous for its ancient Greek olive press, reconstructed in 2004.

IMG_20230705_125423 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230705_125724 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230705_124820 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230705_130840 by bryandkeith on flickr

That was fun to see and gave me an idea of what the operation might have looked like at Lyrboton Kome near Antalya.

After a cousin’s wedding in İzmir, Ferda and I boarded an overnight bus and spent a day in Ankara. I had read somewhere that Aydınköy was one of Turkey’s most beautiful villages. It’s not (unlike Ormana which I enjoyed visiting recently).

Aydınköy is Disneylandesque, built so urbanites can get an idea of a Turkish village. It sits in a small pretty valley on the edge of Ankara and is well done for what it is. Houses were brought in from an unnamed village in Turkey’s western Black Sea region.

IMG_20230709_115358 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230709_113221 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230709_115134 by bryandkeith on flickr

Most tourists won’t find Aydınköy interesting. However, in Ankara you should not miss the 13th century Selçuk Ali Şerafettin Camii (aka Aslanhane Mosque).

IMG_20230709_133702 by bryandkeith on flickr

Highlights include the wooden pillars (with Greek and Roman capitals),

IMG_20230709_133040 by bryandkeith on flickr

the wooden ceiling,

IMG_20230709_133205 by bryandkeith on flickr

and the tiled mıhrab.

IMG_20230709_132758_802_panini_general by bryandkeith on flickr

How had I never seen this place before on all my visits to Ankara?

It’s in a part of Ankara near the fortress that isn’t completely torn down and/or gentrified.

IMG_20230709_131156 by bryandkeith on flickr

Since we were in the neighborhood, we quickly poked our heads in Ankara’s excellent Anatolian Civilizations Museum (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi). We spent most of our time in the large room full of old stone carvings. I was excited to see the original 3000 year old Hittite relief that Seb and I saw in Arslantepe (Malatya).

IMG_20230709_140545 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210401_124140 by bryandkeith on flickr
on site copy

This piece from (I believe) Carchemish reminded me of the carvings that we saw in Persepolis.

IMG_20230709_141854 by bryandkeith on flickr
DSCN9965 by bryandkeith on flickr
Persepolis carving

I’m sure you’re wondering why it had to be such a quick visit to such a great museum. Well, Ferda and I had tickets for the Doğu Ekspresi, the daily train from Ankara to Kars.

IMG_20230709_172322 by bryandkeith on flickr

This time, unlike the first two times I took this train, we had a sleeper compartment. Wow, that was comfortable. The scenery is good the evening the train departs Ankara,

IMG_20230710_073710 by bryandkeith on flickr

but the best part is the next morning, going along the Çaltı Çayı passed Divriği. We loved our bicycle tour through here three years ago.

IMG_20230710_093249 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230710_105650 by bryandkeith on flickr

In the evening we were approaching Sarıkamış.

IMG_20230710_185757 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230710_185933 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was dark by the time we got to Kars.

And Armenia? Well, it was just across the Arpaçay from Ani, but that’s for the next post.

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2 Responses to From Greece to Armenia: a quick (motorized) journey across Turkey

  1. Mike Painter says:

    The start of another adventure …

  2. Curtis Bradner says:

    Some great photography here!

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