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Photos of Turkey: Castle of Ishak Pasha at Dogubeyazit Eastern Turkey

This time we decided to head for Ani, the lost capital of the Armenians. To reach it, we first had to fly to Erzurum, a city known forits architecture with splendid mosques and medreses that were built by its Seljuk, Saltuk, and Mongol rulers. From Erzurum we headed to Kars, where the blend of Russian, Turkish, Kurdish, Azeri and Armenian influences add to its very special flavor. Kars was also our basis to explore Ani, the lost capital of Armenia. Our next goal was Artvin, located in the Turkish Caucasus after which we drove along the tea plantations of Rize, to arrive at Trabzon, the legendary Trebizond. Unfortunately, when visiting the Black Sea region in September there is a risk as the weather can be quite unpredictable in this region with frequent rains and thunderstorms. Therefore, after a visit to the famous Sumela monastery we headed on straight to Amasya and further to Hattusha the ancient capital of the mysterious Hittites. In Central Anatolia weather was nice, though in mid-September it can be a bit chilly at night. We learned more about the Hittites at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizationsat Ankara. A visit to Afyon and Izmir concluded this trip. To summarize, the main attractions in this journey were a visit to the ruined Armenian capital of Ani near the Armenian border, the monastery of Sumela (unfortunately in the rain), and Hattusha the ancient capital of the Hittites.

Here's a detailed itinerary of the September-October 2003 travel:

  1. Thursday Sept. 11: Flight TK1938 Brussels 12:25 – Istanbul 16:45
  2. Friday Sept. 12: Flight TK668 Istanbul 08:35 - Erzurum 10:35
    afternoon: visit of Erzurum
  3. Saturday Sept. 13: Bus Erzurum - Kars
    afternoon: visit of Kars
  4. Sunday Sept. 14: Visit of Ani by taxi
  5. Monday Sept. 15: Bus Kars - Artvin
    evening: visit of Artvin
  6. Tuesday Sept. 16: Bus Artvin -Trabzon
  7. Wednesday Sept. 17: Organized tour Trabzon - Sumela Monastery
  8. Thursday Sept. 18: Visit of Trabzon
  9. Friday Sept. 19: Bus Trabzon - Amasya
  10. Saturday Sept. 20: Visit of Amasya
  11. Sunday Sept. 21: Bus Amasya - Sungurlu
  12. Monday Sept. 22: Visit by private car of Hattuşa – Yazılıkaya – Alacahöyük, followed by transfer to Ankara
  13. Tuesday Sept. 23: Visit Ankara
  14. Wednesday Sept. 24: Bus Ankara - Afyon
    Visit of Afyon
  15. Thursday Sept. 25: Bus Afyon - Izmir
  16. Friday Sept. 26: Visit of Izmir
  17. Saturday Sept. 27: Bus Izmir - Kuşadası
  18. Sunday Sept. 28: Stay at Kuşadası
  19. Monday Sept. 29: Stay at Kuşadası
  20. Tuesday Sept. 30: Stay at Kuşadası
  21. Wednesday Oct. 1: Stay at Kuşadası
  22. Thursday Oct. 2: Stay at Kuşadası
  23. Friday Oct. 3: Private car Kuşadası - Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport
    Izmir Flight TK 06:15 - Istanbul 07:15
    Istanbul Flight TK1937 08:45 - Brussels 11:15

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