I couldn’t help but to read the books of travellers and watch their experience videos lately. Doğu Ekspresi (East Express) was one of those. read more
I couldn’t help but to read the books of travellers and watch their experience videos lately. Doğu Ekspresi (East Express) was one of those. Since it is in the east part of Turkey and has an uncomfortable image (maybe), it isn’t a common choice for a trip. But with the videos we watched, we wanted to go there so badly and then we took out.
East Express is a railroad servicing between Ankara and Kars. The route is: Ankara > Kırıkkale > Kayseri > Sivas > Erzincan > Erzurum > Kars.
We took our place on “Couchette Compartment”. 4-person armchairs turn into beds. They give you clean sheets and pillow covers. Everything is comfortable and clean.
Train leaves the station at 18.00 and arrives to Erzincan around 6.30. You wake up to a view of deep blue river among the mountains. Not to miss anything, we watch outside without blinking an eye. As we approach to Erzurum, the view turns into an endless emptiness. Just then we hear Redd’s lyrics in the compartment. “What would a person do in this emptiness, gets bored and watch the moon.” You don’t get bored not one second even though the trip longs 25 hours.
We welcome the sunset as well. The changing colours of the sky reflect on the snow. Though we have a sadness because the train trip is over, arriving to Kars makes us happy.
The first stop of the day after is Çıldır Lake. There is a fish restaurant over there. A man from Kars working in the restaurant welcomes us, telling the story of the lake. It freezes on December and stays like this until April. The thickness of the ice is approximately 50 cm. You go on top of the lake with horses and sleds. White and emptiness all out… While looking at it, your brain is freshened, you get calm. We say hi to white foxes on the way.
Our next stop is Ani Ruins on the Armenian border. We end our route after an 8 km. walk by seeing all of the ruins. Ani Antique City is located on one of the most important trade routes of the world The Silk Road. It was built by Armenians on the 10th century. There are impressive churches and ruins of mosques in the city. Arpaçay River is like a natural border between Armenia and Turkey. It is a very big impressive slit.
Then we go back to the airport. Emptiness is filled with concrete now.
Gülay Özgün - Interior Architect
TAGS: DOĞU EKSPRESİ, SEYAHAT, GÜLAY ÖZGÜN