Erzerum

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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I got back from my leave on Friday evening, October xx, figuring to have a weekend to relax and recover. Soon I heard rumors we were going on TDY to Erzerum. I went into denial as long as I could but the rumors were confirmed next morning. On Sunday morning we loaded out for the flight to Erzerum. I had been back all of 36 hours. 

THY had a habit of overbooking flights and didn't load baggage until they confirmed that passengers were aboard. So we ran from the terminal to the plane past a line of baggage on the tarmac and pointed to ours as we sprinted past.

 Flight to Erzerum; Istanbul - Ankara leg.
Flight to Erzerum; Istanbul - Ankara leg. Nice eroded fold. The dip of the layers, visible where streams cut through the ridges, show it's a syncline.
Flight to Erzerum; Istanbul - Ankara leg.
Flight to Erzerum; Ankara to Erzerum leg.
Flight to Erzerum; Ankara to Erzerum leg.
Flight to Erzerum; Ankara to Erzerum leg.
Flight to Erzerum; Ankara to Erzerum leg. Nifty karst landscape at bottom with sinkholes.
Flight to Erzerum; Ankara to Erzerum leg. "In 47-10, there are some faint white objects on the far horizon. They could be clouds, but I suspect they are peaks in the Caucasus (USSR) about 300 miles away. The highest peaks there are 18,000 feet, so it might just be possible to see them that far off."
The mountains around Erzerum before and after; the first and last shots show what people claimed was a small volcano on the opposite side of the valley that occasionally rumbles just to keep people on their toes.

It's not. Volcano databases don't list any recent volcanoes around Ezerum and Google Earth doesn't show one. It's a sharp-edged ridge seen slightly obliquely.

This photo looks at first like a dreadful copy covered with dirt, but they're actually birds.

The mountains around Erzerum
 
 The mountains around Erzerum
 The mountains around Erzerum
 The mountains around Erzerum
 The mountains around Erzerum
 The mountains around Erzerum
 Beautiful downtown Erzerum.
 Beautiful downtown Erzerum.
 The Cifte Minare Medrese (Double Minaret Mosque) built in 1253. The sign between the two towers says "Ramazaniniz Mubarek Olsun" "May your Ramazan (month of fasting) be bountiful."
 Two old Muslim tombs.
 Two old Muslim tombs.
 A minaret (or what's left of one) from the early 1300's
 "A brand-new mosque, only built about 1560. "
 The Citadel "Built by the Turks, occupied by the Russians during WWI. (The people hereabouts hate the Russians with a passion.)"
Quite a few of my pictures were badly underexposed shots. I was using Kodachrome but thought I was using a much faster film.
 
 
 
 
 

Train Ride Across Turkey

We had some gear that needed to be escorted back, so SP5 Perry and I took the train back from Erzerum to Istanbul. This was a two-day affair that gave me my only chance to see the interior.

But first I had to get on the train, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Thanks to the sloppy weather, I had picked up a miserable cold and was running a fever. The platform was unheated, it was below freezing and I was running a fever, and I was about as utterly miserable as I have ever been in my life. At one point I said "I am sick, sick, sick," which prompted Perry, who had been living on the economy and knew a fair amount of Turkish, to say "watch what you're saying." I was totally dumbfounded at that, so I got out my dictionary and after a few stabs at what he meant, found out that 'sik' with no dot over the i means 'penis' in Turkish. I did get a few odd looks from some people on the platform.

After about a two million year wait, the train pulled in. I noted with some interest that it had originated in Teheran. The porter showed us to our cabins and pulled down the bunks. Very few things in my life have ever felt as good as crawling into bed. Next morning I felt quite a bit better.

East of Sivas.
East of Sivas.
Sivas to Kayseri (a thrill a minute!)

That comment was intended for my relatives at home. I thoroughly enjoy traveling in places like this. And although it looks superficially like Wyoming, there's something about open country in places like Greece and Turkey that is different. I have never been able to define it.

Near Kayseri. Erciyes Dagi "The high mountain in the background is the Erciyes Dagi (13000' high - a volcano like Mt. Shasta) The name Kayseri comes from the old Roman name of the city 'Caesarea', or Caesar's city."
 
Adapazari to Izmit Next morning. The lake is Sapanca Lake.
Adapazari to Izmit Next morning. The lake is Sapanca Lake.
Adapazari to Izmit.
Adapazari to Izmit.

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Created 19 December 2003, Last Update 20 May 2014

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