blog from the Trans-Asya Expressi

P1000483_TransAsiaExpress

5pm, 12th February, 2009

I made it. Well at least onto the Trans-Asya Expressi train that is. From here, Kayseri (Turkey), it’s a 49+ hour journey to Tehran. Today turned out to be pretty cool. I managed to wakeup as planned @ 6.30 this morning, the bus from Goreme was only 30 mins behind schedule. When I got to Kayseri I a shuttle bus from the otogar took me to the wrong side of town. 3 kms walk later I made it to the train station, got a ticket (82 Turkish lira or thereabouts), met a french dude, Joel, who is also going to Tehran. For the remainder of the wait I was fortunate enough to be befriended by a bunch of Iranian emmigrants who were saying goodbye to their parents – they said the current regime in Iran isn’t too fond of the folks who are of Baha’i faith).

Should be an interesting trip.

P1000354_Zis_Dad P1000339_ticket P1000345_KayseriTrainStore_01 P1000346_KayseriTrainStore_02 P1000348_Kayseri_Joel P1000349_kayseri P1000353_kayseri P1000361_kayseri P1000356_kayseri P1000358_kayseri

4pm, 13th February, 2009

Last night I was lucky enough to meet Farbod, a funny guy from Tehran who just finished a trip with his wife to Istanbul, He tried to educate me on a little of Farsi and explain the difference between Shi’ah and Sunni Islam. He said that he likes to drink beer and that Iranian girls are far prettier than Turkish. 🙂

P1000452_TransAsiaExpress P1000495_TransAsiaExpress P1000511_TransAsiaExpress

I woke up today and looked out the window to see snow that covered the ground to the horizon. Wow!

10 cups of tea later here we are in Tatvan. At some point here I think we and our train get onto a ferry that will take us across Lake Van to Van.

P1000430_TransAsiaExpress P1000423_TransAsiaExpress P1000396_TransAsiaExpress
P1000478_TransAsiaExpress
P1000391_TransAsiaExpress

P1000412_TransAsiaExpress_Joel

My cabin mate, Ali, seems like a really nice guy. From what I could understand he is involved in IT and has something to do with networks between Turkey-Iran-Azherbaijan.

Watched 2 excellent movies – “Zack & Miri make a porno” & “the curious case of benjamin button” – if u haven’t seen them make sure you do!

P1000374_TransAsiaExpress_Ali

3am, 14th February, 2009

We arrived in Van and got onto the Iranian train. A bit of a difference. The trains are dressed with some nice Iranian upholstery and the staff seem to speak more English than the guys working on the Turkish train.
Today was cool. Met so many lovely folks. Pretty much everyone has been very friendly – asking about where I’m from, am i married, what did i study, what do i think of Iran and Iranian people, why am i visiting Iran, etc… I am really hoping this will carry on into Iran. Will see!
From what i have heard/read this seems to be the case.

Beware! Forget about all the xenophobic, anti-Iranian propaganda dominating the media. What they say about terrorism and your life being in danger in Iran is absolute hogwash (I have no idea what that word means, but I like the sound of it: hogwash…). If anything, all that Iranians can be accused of is excessive hospitality. So, when traveling to Iran, beware of innocent looking situations which could turn into the experience of your life. Kind of like walking into The Twilight Zone.

source: http://www.digitalroom.net/index2.html

P1000467_TransAsiaExpress_Portrait P1000392_TransAsiaExpress P1000524_TransAsiaExpress P1000504_TransAsiaExpress

Passport control – entering Iran was a far quicker than exiting Turkey. Smooth.

6.30pm, 14th February, 2009
Apparently 5-10mins from Tehran!
This has been an excellent adventure – recommend it to everyone!
Amazing countryside to see!

How I discovered this train? The man in seat 61 – http://www.seat61.com/Iran.htm

P1000520_TransAsiaExpress

Now to see what Tehran has got in store…

8 thoughts on “blog from the Trans-Asya Expressi”

  1. @Lisa – haha! thanks! ummm, my bag is kinda full, but maybe when it gets warmer i’ll chuck my jumper out and that might leave enough room?

    @Bart – cheers dude, am a little behind with my blog/pics so have some catching up to do. The net in Iran is pretty average, and no WIFI so far! help!

  2. Haha, back to the 56k era where you can plug your notebook in every widespread telephone jack. Who needs WiFi? 😉 Or get a super hi-tech advanced ultrasound satellite network connection. Down-link only, and you might never know (newsfact) if the Russians or Europeans crash into another satellite to break your connection… Modem over GSM/GPRS would be cheaper anyway.
    Or it’s another good reason to go to an internet café and get a beer while surfing. Or.. er.. a malt beer? 😉

    P.S. I really wonder if you have some insider facts on whether people in Iran brew their own liquor and if it tastes good. 🙂

  3. simply excellent!

    my few days in tehran were also full of excessive hospitality. it’s wonderfull you can get around N see it all in Iran

    post some more stuff

    yeah it’s a pity those septics and CNN post and report so much bullshit about these places

    enjoy and report!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.