Turkey-Georgia-Armenia travel blog


David travel blog
This leg of our travel year allowed us to visit, in some cases revisit, parts of Asia Minor.
Spending a month driving around Turkey was our first objective after which we were on the road again for a further three weeks in Georgia and Armenia. We were eager to explore many ancient areas especially those with connections to the evolution of mankind. Armenia was a focal point for this.

The Turkey adventure started in Istanbul and followed a clockwise route along the Black Sea coast towards the Armenian border. We then zig-zagged down to the Syrian border, then along to the Mediterranean/Aegean coast and back up to the starting point. At various times we headed inland to explore a number of historical locations like Amasya, Cappadocia and Pamukkale.

A flight from Istanbul to Tbilisi got the Georgian-Armenian travel plan underway. We combined both countries by starting in Georgia, crossing into Armenia and returning back into Georgia to finally fly out of Tbilisi for Paris. We were able to explore Georgia from it's Black Sea coast in the west to it's Azerbaijan border in the east. The disputed South Osettia region limited our northern movement but we had no trouble in the south to cross into Armenia where our travels were only restricted by bad roads.

We found the roads brilliant in Turkey although lots of maintenance and extensions were at times very hazardous. Those hazards were insignificant when compared to the roads in Georgia and Armenia. They were at times absolutely treacherous, national highways included.

Drivers including police in all three countries were scary in the way they disregarded stop signs, traffic lights and lane markings but the Georgians were the worst.
Nowhere were speed limits observed.

Scenery certainly varied from dry desert-like conditions mainly in Turkey and the western sides of both Georgia and Armenia while the eastern areas of the latter two were far more leafy and green.

The weather throughout Turkey was either warm or very hot and dust was at times quite uncomfortable. Rain would have been a huge blessing. The air was noticeably much cleaner and fresher in Georgia and we did get some very serious rain on occasions.

Some people went out of their way with assistance like an Iranian chef who provided his cell phone 'hot-spot' when we were in need and a hotel manager who insisted on us noting his phone number 'just-in-case'. Most hotel staff were very warm and friendly.

Military check-points were particularly noticeable in the south of Turkey but did provide a sense of security and when stopped we were always greeted warmly. Body x-rays at shopping malls were understandable.

Political tension was strong in Georgia toward Russia over the South Osettia region.

Public safety was almost always non-existent in all countries. Footpaths, roads, work-sites and historical areas all presented extreme opportunities for accidents to occur.

Turkey was far more advanced than Georgia and Armenia who seemed to be in time-warps possibly a result of their traumatic Soviet history.

With this great experience completed we headed off to Paris, our starting point for our Western Europe adventure.
David & Gill

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