Iran to Turkey by Hitchhiking: A World Apart

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, though the days are short and the weather cold. But I’m still feeling all fuzzy and warm inside from yesterday’s hairy experience at the Van cat sanctuary.

I need to reorient a bit where I’m headed after Van. Hitchhiking from Iran to Turkey isn’t just a simple border crossing with a few architectural changes; I just went from only having 30 days in Iran to Turkey’s generous 90-day visa-free policy. My CouchRail/CouchSurfing friends here have lots of ideas of cool places to visit. I’ll take their recommendations to heart and readers like you are also welcome to drop gems in the comments.

I think Turkey is a country I can come back to forever and ever. Iran as well, but the financial burden is a little heavier with the short visa.

#Van #Turkey (at Van’da)

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