Travelling Turkey 2013 – Our Plans…For Now

Despite a little cold spell we’re going through in Fethiye at the moment, the worst of winter has passed, spring is in the air and thoughts are turning to 2013 Turkey travel plans. Last week was a bit of a travel theme on the blog and across our social media channels – and over on our Facebook page, we asked people when they were travelling to / in Turkey. It seems everyone else is also getting restless because we had around 100 replies.

We’re getting restless, too, and for the last few weeks, we’ve been making rough plans of where we want to go this year. Well, now we know where we’re going and we know how we’re getting there…we just don’t have concrete dates yet and nothing is booked – and we like it that way.

(If you are reading this post in your email or in a feedreader, you might need to click through to the blog post to see the map.)

As you can see in the map above, we’re going on a bit of a (or a lot of a) cross-Turkey jaunt. This is more by accident than by plan, but because of how the situation has arisen, we’re going to be fulfilling three ambitions that we’ve harboured for a long time, so naturally, we’re excited about this one. 

Where Are We Going And Why?

Eskişehir was the original destination on our 2013 agenda. We’ve been curious about the city for a while as photos keep appearing on our Google+ stream. Each time we share these photos to our page, proud locals of Eskişehir comment underneath and tell us how great their city is. Also, 2013 is the year that Eskişehir is the Turkiç World Capital of Culture. Famed for being a city of industry and a city of students, Eskişehir is now targetting tourism. Time we went to have a look for ourselves, we think. 

As usual, we like to take things slowly. No planes. We’ll be going up to Eskişehir by bus from Fethiye otogar and, from previous routes we’ve done, we’ve guessed the route the bus might take. 

Eskişehir to Ankara:

Ankara is where the first of three Turkey ambitions will be met. We’ll travel by high-speed train from Eskişehir to Turkey’s capital. This is actually just as a stopover but while we’re there, we’ll make sure to visit Anıtkabir (the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk) and the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations

Unlike Izmir, where we stayed for six days, we’re not counting this as THE trip to Ankara – it’ll be too short and sweet to get any sort of flavour of the city. No, this time, Ankara is our link city and the start point of the fulfilment of another ambition. We’ve always wanted to travel by train from Istanbul to Van. At the moment, due to line upgrades around the city, it isn’t possible to travel all the way from Istanbul. Rail travel to the east begins in Eskişehir and the train we need, the Van Gölü Express, needs to be picked up in Ankara.

Ankara to Van:

Ambition number 2 is to cross central Anatolia to Eastern Turkey on this overnight train; a journey that will take 26 hours (the map shows the rough route the train takes). İnşallah, we’ll be doing this soon! And when we do that, we’ll get off the train in Tatvan, right on the shores of Lake Van. Ambition number 3 of seeing Lake Van will then be fulfilled.

As we said, the Eskişehir plans have been in place for some time and the original idea was to spend time in the city itself and have a wander around the surroundings over a period of a few days. The cross-country jaunt has come about because we have a friend who has just qualified as a teacher. She has been sent to a post close(ish) to Van and invited us to go and stay with her for a few days. We could come back to Fethiye from Eskişehir and then fly from Antalya to Van a few days later…but where’s the fun in that? 

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  1. The Van plan has got us feeling very jealous!

  2. I’d love to visit Van (and see Mt Ararat), sounds so exotic and mysterious, that part of Turkey. Look forward to reading all about your journey.

  3. . . you’ll have a great time over in the East – the culture, history and people are great 🙂

  4. Sounds like great plans! Not sure what our 2013 will be like yet for traveling. Things are too stressful right now to plan too far ahead for once. Sigh! 😉

  5. What a fabulous trip. I’ve been reading quite a bit about Van lately and it sounds fascinating.

  6. ..//..//..//. says:

    I went to Van and Dogubeyazit in January. It’s a stunning part of the country and I’m sure you’ll love it. Don’t miss Isak Pasa Sarayi.

  7. @ Jack Scott: Sorry. 🙂 We’ve been waiting a long time to get there, too.

    @ Sophie: Yeah, read so much about Van and to be finally going…not sure what to expect, really, so will definitely be good! 🙂

  8. @ Alan: Good to know :). Yeah, we’ll love it. Hope to be able to do a bit wandering while we’re there, too. Got LOADS of places we want to see that are near-ish by.

    @ Joy: But you’ve got lots of new adventures ahead and you can always include Turkey in your future travel plans. 🙂

  9. @ Jenny: Yes, to actually see the water of Lake Van is going to be exciting enough – and then there’s the area all around it. 🙂

    @ Anonymous: Ha ha, we’ve already checked on the map how far away we are from Işak Paşa Sarayı and we’re not too far. That’ll be another ambition, too!! 🙂

  10. Fabulous travel plans Julia – Van and Eskisehir are my two top favorites – make sure to indulge in Van style breakfasts everyday : ) Ozlem

  11. I have always wanted to go to Van:)

  12. @ Ozlem’s Turkish Table: Let’s see. like we said, nothing booked yet. 🙂 Heard lots about the Van breakfast. Looking forward to trying lots of foods. 🙂

    @ Westy: Us too! 🙂

  13. Great to hear that you’re planning to visit Eskisehir! You know I’m living here. Would love to meet you here! My baby is due in May, so I hope I will have recovered and got used to my new life with our son and can go out when you come:)

  14. @ Zerrin: yes, we knew you were in Eskişehir and we were going to get in touch nearer the time because I remember you saying you were expecting your baby. We THINK we may be there around the time your son will be born but we’ll definitely get in touch when we know dates as it would be lovely to meet up in person! 🙂

  15. Oh wow – been a while since I have been on your blog and didn’t realise that you had moved into the Turkey travel genre. Enjoy your travels, looks like a well laid plan so I am sure they will go well.

  16. @ Natalie: We never moved out.:) Our tagline has always said we’ll write about other places in Turkey and we started to do that at the beginning of 2010, a couple of months after we started the blog.

    No definite plans for this trip – except that we know where we’re going and why. Just not sure on dates yet.

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