Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Syria - Aleppo and Rasafa

In Syria the network connection was rather poor so it means that the next stories are posted later and the dates are also earlier ones. .

Tyrkish - Syrian border crossing was in the morning. The Tyrkish side was easier – one stamp in the passport and I could drive on. It took more time at the Syrian side.

At first the border guard checked the passport and then the actual prepearing of the documents began.
My car was parked again in the middle of a large site so in case someone would take too much interest it would be well seen. Fortunately here all the officials were in the same building.

First – to fill a visa application form and pass it through the window to get a visa. The passport was checked and the next step was to pay the money. They were glad to get euros . Then back with the receipt. At the next window my passport was stamped with the visa . This visa was just next to Sudan visa..
Next the remaining taxes – mandatory insurance and the road tax and diesel tax.

First – the insurance – I had to explain them what kind of a car it is. I draw a picture of the car on the paper to make it clearer but in the end we went together to look it over. Pehaps I am not such a good drawer.

The diesel tax is 100 USD a week. It is because the price of diesel is quite reasonable here. The price is 20 local money or 5 EEK-i a litre. A full tank is 300 EEK. And it is five times cheaper than in Turkey. Then the road taxes and and again to the barrier to get a diesel tax stamp.

Then again to a window and the number of the car was added to the passport. All the other stamps were in Arabic.

Fortunately there were very little people , practically no queues and of course a couple of would- be - helpers. Who explained in which order whole procedure is carried out. And one of them was very fluent in Russian. He said that he had learned it just there.
Driving out of the customs area the car was briefly lookid in from the side door and there it was – „Welcome to Syria“.
As to Syria according to the network information GPS is illegal here. Just now this kind of two countries are Syria and North Korea. So I put my GPS away. Every country has its own laws. For example – last spring arriving at Tunesia GPS was registered at the port
The first bigger town was Aleppo. Obligatory tourist attractions – Aleppo citadel and Old Town.



Main entrance


Outside of the Gate Tower


And inside


From the ground up.


And down.


Resored amphitheatre.


The locals wished their photo to be taken.


A quiz question - how many satellite dishes in the picture?



The town traffic was more hectic than in Turkey

Further on the road went inland. Rasafa is a desertad town in the middle of the desert. 25 kilometres away from the main road. Abandoned in the 13th century after the Mongol invasion.








The city wall is totally 1,8 km


North Gate


Restored city wall.

Here it was necessary to make decision in which direction to move on. Like a hero in a legend at the crossroads.


News from Estonia – Ministry of Foreign affairs recommends that in addition to Egipt and Tunesia to avoid travelling to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Being there Syria was a very friendly country.

Nothing has been said about Iraq, maybe it is possible to wait there calmly until thee situation calms down at the region :D
Next post will come from Palmyra and Damascus.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cappadocia 2

Some more pictures of Cappadonia.

Underground city - Gazimer underground City..




Wine Celler - empty.




In this time probably this kind of a place was probably needed. The room was 2x2 metres.






Seeing all this reminded me of the book I used to read many times during my school-years - The Ring of the Queen of Seeba (Sheba). Just this kind of underground towns I had imagined while reading the book. large halls and smaller passageways between them.

Next Göreme




Hiking trail



Here is a a whole mountain house costomed for living. Some walls and doors are fallen down but most of rooms are still fit for living there.


View from the terrace.


A place for firewood. A basin has been built on the right. Just now without water.


Living room

Gõreme National Park



Actually it is a long dinner-table.



Ceiling paintings in the Chapels


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Erciyes Ski Resort

Day 18.
23-01-2011 Evening
Turkey, Göreme
Total 4403 km

Morning in Cappadocia. The sun is shining but the trees are bare, it is still January.


Morning in Cappadocia.the sun is shining but the trees are bare., it is still January.

Today I should have added here new pictures of Cappadocia, as I have got quite a lot of them, but actually I visited a place called Erciyes. Or Ercies Dagi in Turkish.It is the highest mountain in central Anatolia (3916 m). The Erciyes Ski Resort is built there.

A picture after arrival , when the sun was still shining.


A closer look.


In the glass house a model of the mountain has been exhibited



Now the prices: An elevator ride up is 9 lires. To reach the very top of the mountain one must use two elevators. So the descent down the mountain will cost 18 lires or about 9 euros. As I had not taken my skies with I borrowed skies and boots and I had a nice descending. So now I have been skiing in Turkey.

Some more words about tickets : If you have bought a ticket of 10 times descent, so every time you go up the mountain the ticket controller will make one more hole in the ticket.

But the peak is quite high and far. Looking up it seems much closer. But measured by GPS you will be taken to 2700 metres high. And the descent is 3 km ( back to 2100 m ).

Unfortunately going up the sun disapeared so the view was just the way it is here.




It was quite a long way down.
The rest of Cappadocia pictures are still waiting to be sorted out..