When hitchhiking out of Van, I had to thumb my way around Lake Van (Van Gölu). I’m on my way to Batman. Why? I don’t know, it sounds like a funny place. I don’t want to study ever again, but Batman University does pique my curiosity. Hitchhiking around such a huge body of water is also a good time. It’s incredibly beautiful here, though it’s cold. I’m very happy with my spanking new leggings from Iran. They’re really thick and have an inner layer that’s made of fleece. Fashionable and warm! While waiting for a ride nearby the ferry toContinue reading
Caucasus + Western Asia
Here you’ll find all the articles and short posts I’ve published about hitchhiking and hospitality in the Caucasus + Western Asia. I traveled in countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Iran, and Turkey mostly in 2014.
- Georgia: my best friend whom I met at university comes from Georgia, so I visited there for the first time for New Year’s in 2012/2013. Then in summer 2014, I hitchhiked from the Netherlands to Tbilisi in five days to attend her wedding. After that, I traveled back and forth to Georgia from Armenia and Abkhazia, living in Tbilisi’s Vake Park with a band of cool people and absolute weirdos.
- Armenia: I visited Armenia twice in 2014. Once with a Polish friend on a short trip, and once on my way to Iran.
- Abkhazia: I visited this disputed territory after getting travel permission in Zugdidi. It was a strange place, but also incredibly beautiful. I had a lot of fun at Stalin’s Dacha and in Gagra.
- Iran: after picking up my visa in Armenia, I hitchhiked around Iran for 28 days in October/November 2014. These were some excellent times!
- Turkey: I’ve been to Turkey four times, of which twice with my family. The last two times I was there speed hitchhiking through to get to that wedding on time. The second time, after Iran, I had more time to explore between Van, Batman, Hatay, Mersin, Northern Cyprus, Ankara, Eskişehir, and İstanbul.
Because of the top-tier hospitality in the Caucasus + Western Asia, I’m longing to return pretty much every day I’m feeling a little uninspired.
Though I’ve already been back in Turkey for two days, I’m still getting used to things once again. Just across the border from Iran to Turkey in Van, the mosques look different and the mountain peaks are snowier! The crossing from Persian to Ottoman architecture is actually much starker than expected. Especially considering there’s Ottoman architecture in tons of places outside of Turkey. Pictured is the Sobacı Hamit Yörük Mosque in Van. I arrived in Van at night, so all I could see were the elaborate neon lights upon entering the city. Seeing Van in daylight is a much better experience,Continue reading
When my hosts in Van told me that there’s a Van cat sanctuary, I knew I had to visit. The Van Cat is a special type of cat that hails from this area around Lake Van in Turkey. They have a white coat and often have one blue eye and one green one. This place is like a sanctuary for these cats, which are quite rare in the world and need extra protection. As I understood it, they’re here for protection and local heritage, not breeding. Back on the Isle of Man, I visited the Manx Society for the PreventionContinue reading