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Turkey Trip Pictures (Page 1 of 3) from May 27 to June 27, 2006

Due to the amount of pictures and area covered, we have broken Turkey into three (3) sections. Turkey Photos Page 1 covers the Eastern portion of the country to the Iran Border and Central Turkey.  Turkey Photos Page 2 takes us along the Southern Mediterranean Coast Line & Western Interior.  Turkey Photos Page 3 follows the Aegean Coast Line and ends in beautiful Istanbul. To read more about our 6,300km journey through Turkey proceed to Turkey Journal.

To read and see the photos of our 2010 Turkey Trip follow these links Turkey Photos Pg. 1, Turkey Photos Pg. 2 and Turkey Journal.

Route Map through TURKEY. Covered 6,300km on the motorcycles.

May 27, 2006. We enter Turkey at Kassab and wild camp. One of the unexpected visitors....

...who brought us food.

Wild camping in the mountains just north of the border crossing.

May 28, 2006. We wild camp again at the base of Mt. Nemrut.

We ride up MOUNT NEMRUT. Seen here is the head of Zeus and an Eagle.

These heads are located on the east terrace.

The stone heads were built by King Antiochus I Theos.... is the head of Antiochus.

The king ruled from 64 to 38BC.

The stone mountain rising behind the terrace is rumoured to contain the tumulus of King Antiochus.

This is the west terrace which also contain numerous stone heads.

Another colossal statue.

Spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.

High above everything else.

Every direction gives you an excellent view.

May 29, 2006. Taking a wrong turn leaving Mt. Nemrut, we travel along beautiful lakes and landscape.

...only to find out that the road ends by Gerger.

This area reminded us of the Okanagan Lake.

Finding our way back to the right road we take the Ferry over the man made lake.

The Ataturk Dam.

Waiting for the Ferry.

Fully loaded we are only a little bit worried that we might not make it across.

We journey east across the vast land of Turkey and wild camp at the southern side of Lake Van.

May 30, 2006. Ruby cleaning her teeth at a waterfall....

...located directly beside our campsite.

Lake Van and a 4,058m snow covered mountain in the distance.

Kuskunkiran Gecidi - Elevation 2235m.

Eastern Europe has some of the most beautiful scenery...

Snow covered mountains and green valleys.

Stopping for breakfast Caldiran (elevation 2030m) close to the Iranian border. Local kids are excited to see us.

Breakfast was an experiment. Ayran (salty/sour white liquid yogurt) to drink and Pide (flatbread base with spicy tomato sauce) to eat.

The owners of the restaurant proud to have us eat with them.

Everywhere we go we are treated with open arms.

Climbing another mountain pass. Tendurek Gecidi (2644m)

A small village only a few km from the Iranian border.

Mud Brick Houses. A local woman washing clothes & laying them out on the grass to dry.

Normal living conditions in eastern Turkey.

Since we are above the tree line, cow dung is laid out for drying and then used to fire their ovens.

Large mud brick "beehive" style ovens are used to cook food.

Our first glimpse of MT. ARARAT.

Turkey's highest mountain at 5,165m.

A dust devil.

Setting up camp at an offical campground called Murat Camping.

The campground is located at the base of Ishak Pasa Sarayi 8km from the town of Dogubeyazit.

May 31, 2006. The impressive ISHAK PASA SARAYI.

A fortress-like palace. Main Entrance.

Constructed by an Ottoman governor.

Built in late 18th Century.

The palace has 366 rooms including a harem with 14 bedrooms.

Inside the courtyard.

Excellent carved relief adorn the entrance to these rooms.

Carved Reliefs.

Inside the Harem quarters.

The dome inside the small, but impressive mosque.

Pillars line the mosque inside.

Barren land surround the Palace.

A clear picture of MT. ARARAT.

Pulling over to take in the amazing landscape.

Not only does it feel remote it is the last stop to Iran.

Close up view of Mt. Ararat.

Snow covers this peak year around.

The artistic picture.

One last look in the mirror of Mt. Ararat.

On the road between Erzurum and Bayburt.

Stopping for a break and some chocolate cake.

Cobandede Arcbridge, which spans across the Aras River and was built in 1295-1304AD.

Just before Bayhurt, we climb up another pass.

We set up camp in the trees approx. 10km from Bayhurt.

June 01, 2006. Breakfast on the road. Or Breakfast of Champions.

Bread with Nutella (Chocolate Spread) and Cherry flavoured Jam.

Between Gumushane and Trabazon we take the scenic off-the-beaten-track route. Passing by old farm houses.

In the distance the road we have taken.

Hard packed gravel to the top of the 2,025m Zigana Mountain.

All the way up we stop numerous times to take in the beautiful scenery.

A ride to remember.


The monastery sits high up on the cliffs of Mt. Mela. The entrance to the monastery.

The view out one of the windows, showing how the building hugging the cliff.

Another view out of a window overlooking the Altinere valley.

The inside of the Sumela Monastery.

Living Quarters used by the Greek Orthodox monks.

The Rock Church is covered with colorful frescos both outside and inside.

The walls are decorated with Frescoes of the time of Alexius III inside the Rock Church.

Most of the Frescoes are from the 18th century.

The frescos are amazingly well preserved.

A picture of Ruby below the Frescos inside the Rock Church.

Large agueduct at the entrance, which supplied water to the Monastery.

The Sumela Monastery is well hidden in the rock.

And can only be seen from certain view points.

The Monastery is located inside the Altindere National Park.

Beside the Monastery, the park offers some beautiful waterfalls and scenery.

Here we were able to pull up the motorcycles right to the edge of the waterfalls.

Camping on the Black Sea, close to the town of Eynesil.

The view from our campsite.

The Black Sea.

A little fishing harbour at the base. We follow the Black Sea Coastal Road from Trabzon to Samsun.

June 02, 2006. Eating at our Campsite in Bogazkale (central Turkey). Excellent Food.

The food consists of sis (cubes of meat grilled on a skewer), rice, vegetables, salad and bread.

June 03, 2006. BOGAZKALE, an ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusas. Seen here is the entrance to the Great Temple.

Bogazkale was built around 1600 BC.

The green rock.

Large storage pots recovered from this site.

A lion head can be made out when looking closely.

The Lion's Gate.

These are actually only replicas of the original lion statue. The origionals are at a museum.

Walking up the artificial hill...

...which incorporated a tunnel 70m in length.

The entrance to the tunnel.

One statue of the Sphinx Gate.

View from the artificial hill.

Overlooking the Citadel.

The Kings Gate.

Again these are replicas with the originals in a museum.

View of the Kings Gate from outside the gated walls.

Impressive carved reliefs.

Depicting the the Hittite kingdom.

This site covers 14 square kms of ground.

These are stone reliefs at the nearby YAZILIKAYA.

Three tombs were discovered at Yazilikaya.

Some of the reliefs which still can be seen.

Here is one of the twelve gods in stone relief.

The Hittite artisans were renowned as superb carvers and metalworkers.

Tomb area.

Another Hittite site, 20kms from Bogazkale is ALACAHOYUK. Mike standing beside a large ancient storage container.

The Sphinx Gate.

One of the carved sphinces.

Items excavated from this site date back to 5500BC-3300BC.

One of the tombs.

An aerial overview of the site. The on-site museum has some incredible artifacts dating back 1000's of years.

Baskent Campground at Bogazkale.

June 04, 2006. While having breakfast we had a little visitor - Turtle.

CAPPADOCIA - ANYALI CHURCH - located in the valley beside our Kaya Campground.

The landscape of Cappadocia was created around 30 million years ago, when erupting volcanoes blanketed the region with ash.

People of Cappadocia cut chapels and houses into the rock. Here is the inside of Anyali Church.

Vaulted ceiling c/w pillars and painted walls.

This stairway led to the living quarters above the church. The tunnel is only about 1.3m high.

The living quarters above the Church.

A round millstone is used as a door blocker.

Here is the door entrance.

After the visit we hang out with the keeper and chatted over some tea.

We watch the sun set over Cappadocia.

A German traveller and rig.

He went through northern Africa with this modified VW LT45.

June 05, 2006. Picture of Cappadocia at 5am. The sky is full of hot air ballons.

We take a walk through the adjacent canyon.

There are 100's of rock carved resident houses, chapels and monasteries.

The ash from an erupting volcano solidified into an easily eroded material called tuff....

.....overlain in places by layers of hard volcanic rock.

Over time the tuff was worn away, creating distinctive formation, like this canyon tunel.

This area is called the love valley. Maybe it has something to do with the formation seen here?

Most churches and monasteries date back to 9th century.

Everywhere you look are windows or doors carved into the rock.

Our pathway is a good round trip from the campground to Goreme and back of 10 km.

This large Rock houses a chapel.

Over the years the bottom steps have been eroded. Mike takes a look inside.

View of the Troglodyte dwellings in the rock above the village of Uchisar.


Inside the Open-Air Museum. The KIZLAR MONASTERY, which monks lived and worked in.

Entrance to the CARIKLI CHURCH. This two column church is cross vaulted and has three aspes and four domes.

The Dining Hall. Sitting at a stone carved table which could seat 40 people with partial frescos still visible behind Ruby.

Entrance to the CHAPEL OF ST. KATHERINA.

The chapel of St. Katherina has free-cross nave and narthex...

...the Narthex has nine (9) floor graves.


The Dark Church contains some of the best preserved frescos.

The fresces depict the ascension of Christ.

The preservation of these Fresco's are amazing and well worth paying the extra 5 million Lira/person.

Scenes from the old testament.

The Dark Church dates back to the end of the 12th Century AD.

Some of the scenes include the journey to Bethlehem, last supper, baptism and many more.

Entrance to the Monks' Cells. These rooms used to be occupied by Monks.

An example of oven.

The inside of the TOKALI (BUCKLE) CHURCH.

This church is huge and contains some of the most beautiful frescoes found in the Goreme valley.

It is the oldest rock-cut church in the region & consits of four sections.....

...the old church with one nave; the new church; the lower church below the old church (which we were able to enter);and Parecclesion to the north of the new church.

Campground at Kaya Camping.

The campground came with excellent facilities, like this huge pool.

In the afternoon we would cool off from the 30 Degree Celsius (in the shade).

It was most of the time only us around the pool.

June 06, 2006. We venture to the nearby underground down of DERINKUYU. Picture is a very deep air-shaft.

Derinkuyu (translates to Deep Well) is eight-level deep (60m). Ruby stands in a the upper level room. The corridor below leads to another room.

Mike leans against a heavy millstone recessed into the walls, which are doors that could be rolled into place.

Large rooms deep below the ground.

The School is located at the 8th level below the ground.

Visiting KAYMAKLI (another excellent underground city). A typical room with doorways leading to storage rooms. The metal grating seen on the floor, shows the level below.

Both of us are well equipped with LED lights and venture off-the-beaten tourist track where there is no lighting. Mike sitting on a fallen over millstone (door).

A millstone (door) in place. We are just able to sneak by. This was by far our favorate underground city. Exploration is endless.

Riding up to UCHISAR.

The summit of the Rock Citadel offers an amazing panoramic view over the valley.

Uchisar lays between Goreme and Nevsehir.

Looking directly down from the summit of the rock citadel.

More troglodyte dwellings in the rock.

The Uchisar Rock Citadel.

The road winds its way past many rock cut dwellings.

This valley displays Cone Shaped formation....

....where erosion thins tuff beneath the basalt cap, which then falls off.

No matter how hot it is, wearing the gear is important.

Meeting our first motorcycle traveler in Turkey. Lars from Sweden just came through Iran.