Monday, 2 December 2013

Trekking in Turkey

After having an amazing time mostly hitch-hiking around Bulgaria, we decided to spoil ourselves a little and do it the easy way getting to Turkey. Only problem was, we wanted to get to the south of Turkey where the weather was still nice and warm and so the 'easy way' involved a 21hr bus trip from Varna (Bulgaria), to Istanbul, where we stopped for an hour to change buses, and then on until the next morning when we reached Antalya on the south coast. It was all worth it when the next day we'd landed right on the doorstep of one of the best long distance trekking routes in the world, the Lycian way, which we'd decided to use as our warm up for the Himalaya. The complete route stretches out over around 500km, skipping constantly between the hills and the coast. The route doesnt go particulary high, peaking around 2500m, but its got plenty of long hard days on steep trails where you're constantly climbing or descending.
So after a few days of gorging on kebabs and ayran, we were ready to take on the route, which we decided to do west to east, rather than the usual east to west route. To start off, we hitched a ride around 30km out of antalya to the start of our trail, where carrying ridiculously heavy backbags we started up into the hills, all the way telling ourselves our bad packing was good training. Probably the stupidest thing we (I) included was a extra large jar of pickles that had comfortably a litre of liquid, not to mention the pickles, all in a glass jar. These pickles lasted a few days. I ate most of them in frustration after dragging them up one particularly steep ascent. Lesson learned. No pickles in Nepal. The other lesson we both learned were the value of walking poles. Neither of us had ever used them but after the many ups and downs of the Lycian way, we quickly realized sticks would make a huge difference on our next trip. After 10 days of hiking we'd felt we'd done enough and so hitching another ride we made it back to Antalya for a few rest days from where we took the bus up to Kusadasi to hang out there for a week with my uncle Ev and aunt Nuala. We spent that week between the Captains bar and getting spoiled by Evs great cookin, but also got around a bit, did a day trip with a few horses around the local countryside, went to a hammam, celebrated Bay ram (where they kill the animals and give away the meat to the poor) with Ev's Turkish friends, Rabi and Hussein and they're family so all in all was a great week. From there we went back up to Istanbul where we spent another few fun days finishing off with a police raid on our hotel where everyone got kicked out because the place didnt have a licence (no wonder it was so cheap!). Luckily we were planning to go to the airport at 4am so we got a refund for the last night and headed a bit early to crash at the airport, from where we flew to Germany for the Christening of Andrea's niece, Melina. We had a hectic, party fuelled 3 days in Würzburg catching up with lots of people and then headed down to the Black Forest for heaps of 'Kaffee und Kuchen', hanging out with Andrea's relatives and, of course, the Christening.
Natuerlich war die Zeit viel zu kurz, aber wir haben sie bestens ausgenutzt! Endlich durften wir Melina, mein Patenkind, kennen lernen (zum Glueck sogar vor der Taufe), einfach super suess =) Insgesammt waren die Tage ueberwaeltigend: die vertrauten Gesichter zu sehen und all die Neuigkeiten zu erfahren. Eine perfekte Gelegenheit, nach 4 Monaten noch einmal “Familie zu tanken”, bevor es nun fuer eine laengere Zeit weitergeht =)
After a packed week in Germany we flew from Zürich back to Istanbul, from there to the UAE and then onto Kathmandu, Nepal, where the next part of our adventure began...

The view over Antalya bay

Hadrian's gate

Back in the hills :)

Its looks nice, but it was veerrrryyy cold!

We camped here for a night

This's where I realized the value of hiking sticks!!!

We got lost and ended up on the wrong side of  a mountain. Luckily there was  a nice local around to help!

This fella bit off the walnuts and dropped them down... where Andrea collected them. Team work!


The old amphitheathre...

...the perfect place for a nap!

Making some coffee over a natural gas flame, called the Chimera

We stayed on the beach at Chirali for a rest day...

...the weather doesnt stay bad here for long!

At the entrance to Olympos

A nice place for a coffee...on a river with lots of ducks!

Where we finished the trail

Andrea made a new friend :)


The old public toilets!

Hitch hiking to Istanbul

The Blue Mosque

Hagia Sofia

A cruse on the Bosphorous...a very busy stretch!!

The Galata Tower

Inside the Hagia Sofia

Beer and sardines...perfect

At the Christening

Melina...eine Süsse

Knu's new home!!!


  1. Awesome places and awesome photographs.I think you visit all important places in turkey .Your baby is quiteawesome.This for post the nice pictures .These pictures gives some happiness to me. kusadasi day trips

  2. Very cool pictures! Now I compare these with the one you posted today on facebook (up at the tilicho lake) and I am amazed! What a difference! Keep enjoying, buddy!