One of the Turks woke-up very early. I stayed in bed until 08:15 and was the second to get up. The night was a night in a train. Could be better but was not bad.
I go to the restaurant with computer to transcribe my notes and get something to drink. Maria is already there with her computer. I get a coffee and a juice to go with my olive bread bought in Mont Athos. My Turkish cabin mates join to look from the window. We are following Euphrates River in a nice landscape. Then Mesopotamia history comes to mind (with help from Maria) and I want to come back, cycle here. I drink some Turkish tea and enjoy.
Time goes thru, we are always in the restaurant car. The ones from my cabin, the english woman, a family of 4 australians. We are still traveling along the Euphrates river, now at a bit more than 1000 meters high. There is snow now and then in the fields, always in the mountains. I update the blog, reserve the hotel for tonight at Erzurum and make plans B in case the boat is late. People read, play cards, look at the phone. The other train passengers do not come to the restaurant because you need to consume. But the view is much better than in the cabins.
The train arrives to Erzurum. I say goodbye to my travel companions. There is snow on the streets, it snowed maybe 10/15cm yesterday. Erzurum is at 1900m. For once I’m incognito in a city, there are no tourists here. Erzurum is big, with university and airport and very close to a ski resort. I feel good. It was good to speak with people.
In the hotel the receptionist speaks a mixture of french and english. I’ve a huge nice room for 22 €.
After speaking with Eva I go discover the city at twilight. There is a Madrasa – school – from the XVI century, with a museum, which I quickly visit. The castle is closed, the main mosque has the service going on and I should not disturb. I’m talking with my mom on the phone and wander in the city, between the people getting out of their jobs.
There are already quite some people in the restaurants eating and I look for one where I can eat something other than meat. A soup restaurant. I choose by their look, there is no menu. I found out later it is Ezogelin soup, made of lentils, onions, tomato, rice, bulgur and mint. Quite good. I try a small portion of another soup, which is a bit too oily. To finish I get a tea and go back to the hotel.
Next stop: Georgia