Categories
postcards

camels

on the way to my camping spot a familiar green truck overhauled and honked. there ain’t that much honking, overhauling trucks out there that i like, this one is an exception… we stopped for a quick chat on the side of the road and i received one of their “frog” – buttons. we said goodbye for a third but not for the last time…

here is their blog entry of our first encounter in dogubayazit. and here you’ll find the one from anja and chris.

soon after i was invited by a truckdriver on his way to bandar abbas for melon.

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…and after another hour i reached the caravansary. i thought it was just an old building so i was really suprised to see this…

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ah no this…

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Categories
food locations people

toudeshk

the road from esfahan looked like this for miles…

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…with nothing but a few villages on its way. it was nice to be back in the saddle without any mountain in the way for a change. after arriving in toudeshk and the already normal procedure of asking a handfull of people for directions, some phonecalls being made before being escorted to my destination by car or motorcycle, i found myself in a warm room with tea and a dish of rice served to me just a minute after i sat down and started to chat with a motorcyclist from norway on his way to yemen. mohammed wasn’t in toudeshk because he helped out a friend as a tourguide on a trip to the desert but his brother and family made us feel at home and served delicious food.

mohammad called from yazd to make sure we have everything we need and recommended a place to camp on the way to yazd, an old caravansarai. after breakfast we found time for a photoshoot with ove on his motorcycle…

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… we probably meet again in yazd.

Categories
locations people

goodbye esfahan

after a week of relaxing in esfahan i was eager to get back on my bicycle to continue to yazd. i had a wonderful last day with amelie and till which i first met in turkey. we walked around the imam square, paid a last visit to the tea house and then went to see the masdsched-e emām.

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after we got ourselves a falafel and took a walk along the river we said goodbye for the second but not for the last time…

back at the amir kabir hostel was a nice group as well. martin from belgium who was cycling europe and is now on his way to dubai, raphael from italy and fabian from germany who after 11 months of traveling around the world is looking forward to get back home again.

i heard from other cyclists that 100km from esfahan is a homestay run by mohammad, who first came in contact with bicycle tourists as a child. he started to invite people to stay in his house and since then hosted more than 300 cyclists from all over the world. so my next stop was…

Categories
locations people

esfahan

after istanbul, esfahan was my next must see city. the nickname of the city is nesfe jahan which means “half of the world”. one of the famous sights is the imam square, here viewed from the terrace of a tea house.

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another beautiful thing is the zayandeh river which runs through it with its wonderful bridges. most famously the si-o-se pol.

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that evening i met barbara from slovenia in the internet cafe next to the hostel.

as we wanted to have a cup of tea and the normal tea house with its men-only shisha smoking inhabitants wouldn’t do, we walked into a hotel lobby and asked if we could have our tea there. soon after we had our tea and the whole lobby to ourselves. a wonderful evening!

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Uncategorized

teheran

has lots of traffic

Categories
music people travel

tabriz

most iranians have to buy their train tickets some days in advance otherwise they have only a chance to get one over a waiting list. as tourist i was told that it was too late for me to take the train in the evening but i could purchase my ticket early the next morning. i left my bicycle in the baggage, took a taxi and after some failures to communicate which kind of hotel i was looking for, the taxi driver and i found a term we both understood: high class. my “no high class” hotel was super cheap and clean.

i was at the station early the next morning. for the price of a cup of coffee on a german train i got my ticket to teheran. i wasn’t sure what to do the whole day and what to see of tabriz when i met ali. we had breakfast together and i played a concert in that restaurant. the waiter was quite nervous, closed all doors and looked outside as if he expected the spanish exquisition every moment.

the train was comfortable and i met a lot of nice people. everybody eager to share their views of iran and interested in the perception of iran abroad. i slept very well with the rattling of the train as a lullaby…

Categories
travel

to iran

all the way to the iranian border i had mt. ararat as companion to my left

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and a whole highway lane for myself.

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at the border i passed the waiting trucks and had to wait for just 10 minutes. i didn’t change money there because i wasn’t sure about the exchange rate. i thought it would be easy once i get to maku. but i didn’t find any place or anyone to change my dollars there. as it was friday and most stores where closed i walked into one of the few open stores and asked there.  the clerk first suggested going back to the border but after pointing out that i  had just a bicycle he called a friend and 5 min later i held a bunch of bills in my hand which wouldn’t fit in any wallet i’ve ever owned. the exchange rate isn’t too exotic so it took me only a few days to get used to the currency for the following weeks.

as it was pretty cold during the nights i decided to take the train once i reached tabriz…

Categories
locations people

doğubeyazıt

…is a town 30 km from the iranian border.  murats camping, just below ishak pasha palace, is a meeting place for traveling people and a nice place to take a breath before entering iran. there i met anja & chris.

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they are on a one year cruise with their newly build up truck. you find information about their travels here. they have a small library in their vehicle and again i was able to trade my book which i finished the day before. thank you, the book has already found a new owner and is traveling to austria. oh and i would have totally forgotten to take enough cash with me to iran without them. chris and i went to town on their motorcycle and now i have enough dollars with me to make it through iran despite my almost useless visa card. appreciated!

the guy with the camera on the left is till. he and amelie are traveling overland to india also by truck. they were thinking about bringing a guitar as well but thought it will take up too much space. haha! you can have a look at their wonderful truck here.

Categories
postcards

party on tv

after the train arrived in erzurum 4 hours late, i looked for a hotel with no plans on going out anymore. the guy who showed me the room switched on the tv before he left. after looking through the turkish channels i found the 20th anniversairy of 9th november, the day the wall came down in berlin, on bbc world.

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it was a bit strange to see the brandenburg gate with the fireworks and historical footage of people crying on television while sitting on a hotel bed someplace in eastern turkey with nothing much to do rather than to wait for the morning. i slept well…

Categories
people

couchsurfing in kayseri

before i went to göreme i was invited by onur over couchsurfing. as my train was not before 2 in the morning i was more than happy to accept his invitation. after traveling back from göreme i first pickep up my camera which was repaired for only 70 lira (a bit more than 30 euros). first photo since the crash from the coming winter in kayseri

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no bus driver wanted to take the bicycle on board. so we switched to a taxi…

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i had a wonderful time with my hosts. their hospitality is outstanding even by turkish standards and they are easy to share a laugh with. since there aren’t too many bars or clubs in kayseri we entertained ourselves with dancing to turkish music, singing some songs and exchange thoughts about our home countries. i stayed a day longer before i left with the night train to erzurum and was offered warm socks and clothing for the cold weather in eastern turkey. thank you for a wonderful time in kayseri. i hope we meet again someday.

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