23 May 2011

A low-budget trip through Turkey

The financial income of a volunteer does not allow big expenses. Luckily, there are ways of cheap travelling – nowadays supported by internet communities such as the couchsurfing network.
Our trip from the Turkish border at a glance

Göreme cave city

Göreme cave city
Our trip starts in Tbilisi, where we catch the incredibly cheap night train to Batumi (5 GEL for more or less 300 km). If you think that the night train is uncomfortable and boring, then you are wrong. Uncomfortable – yes, especially if you are as tall as Villi. Boring – no f***ing way! We met some very nice Georgian people in the train and some of them were carrying 60 liters of home-made wine with them – which they wanted to share with us with pleasure. By the time we arrived in Batumi, I saw everything double, and the breakfast on the seaside was... lets say... interesting. We took a bus to the Turkish border and started hitch-hiking in pairs. We discovered that hitch-hiking in Turkey is very easy, mostly we caught a car or truck in no-time, and most of the drivers were very nice people.
Our trip has 2 big targets: Ötkür's place and Cappadocia. Ötkür is one incredible couchsurfer who hosted Irena while he was not at home and who was hosted by Irena while she was not at home. But on this historical day, they finally should meet.
Still Göreme, now there is one rock missing ^^
Castle of Uçisar (the rock on the right); on the left you see a typical "fairy chemney"

Villi and me are joining Ötkür and his friends to an Inna concert in Trabzon, and eventhough the performance of this singer was quite poor (she was on stage only for half an hour), we had much fun, which might be related to one bottle of Gomi we had earlier that evening. Inna was wearing only Kupalniki, and so her performance was more like a photo shooting than a concert. But I have to say that she is a real professional act, as she can improvise the lyrics (“fly like you do it like you're high like you DON'T TOUCH MY ASS!! like a woman”).
The next day on the road, we are hitch-hiking together with one friend we met in Trabzon to Samsun. There, we are hosted by some couchsurfers who are doing Erasmus in Samsun. They remind us very strong our own EVS family and they are very hospital. But the next morning already we are leaving and hitch-hiking to Nevshehir, the capital of the Cappadocia region. We stay there three nights and visit the nearby cave cities Göreme, Ürgüp, the castle of Uçisar and the underground city of Kaymakli. The region is just gorgeous, and none of us has ever seen something similar.
Ori hitch-hiking

After Cappodocia, the next stop is Sivas, a bigger city with a long shopping mile but as well a historic center. We are hosted by a young Turkish couple, and we have very nice talks with them about the political situation in Turkey.
The next day we hitch-hike on a mountain track to Trabzon and, after another stay at Ötkür's place, to the Georgian border. In Batumi, it seems impossible to catch a car to Tbilisi. When finally there are some guys who are ready to take us to the capital if we share the fuel, we agree. Big mistake. The track leads over some mountains and there are many trucks on the road. Our drivers seem in a rush and they pass some trucks in very risky places. In the end, we had three almost-accidents, which could have taken a bad end I guess.
Who is saying hitch-hiking is dangerous? The first ride we payed for on our trip (except for the night train of course) was the most dangerous ever! We were really glad when we got off that car, I tell you!


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