In Van I met Peter (our "host" from Trabzon) and we discovered Van together. I really enjoyed to be free from the hospitality, as I was never able to walk somewhere without my host taking care of me or helping me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the hospitality, but it had some downsides. For example, I was always asked to sit down, as it is considered rude for the host to sit down first and my hosts always wanted to sit.

Van is famous for "Kahvaltı" and its cats. Kahvaltı is a buffet style breakfast with olives, tahin, honey, vegetables, cheeses and some egg dishes. The cats are famous because of their dichromatism: One green and one blue eye.

  • Van cat with dichromatism

  • A truck full of garlic ❤

I took a train from Tatvan to Ankara: Vangölü Express. It was one of the most beautiful train rides I ever did. It goes through gorgeous nature, mountains, lakes, little cracks and big rivers. Even though it has express in its name, it only goes about 40-50 km/h which makes it a very smooth and silent ride. It took me about 29 hours for the ~1000 km trip.

On the train I was staying in a four person courgette compartment together with a kurdish, a turkish and one iranian guy. The iranian guy was suffering from pain after a surgery to fix some problems with his spine. His spine was damaged from torture in Iran because he is member of the christian minority in Iran. He and his wife where on the way to the United Nations office in Ankara to go to some western country and start a new life.

We had a good time, laughed a lot and wondered why there's so much stupid people and idiots in the world who can't get along (we were two muslims, one christian and one atheist).

  • My train to Ankara

  • Sinan, crazy kurdish guy I met on the train