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12/10

East is East

Hurtling towards Iran and we’ve been keeping a steady eye on Ahmadinejad’s antics. Unfortunately in the past few weeks his inappropriate comments at the UN and the ongoing nuclear debate mean British-Iranian relations are at a pretty all time low. The official FCO policy is that it’s fine to go into Iran as a tourist but it’s hard to pass off as a tourist in a car like Lottie stuffed full of suspicious looking gear (like our BGS seismometer – strangely branded Houston Space Agency). As elsewhere the issue of earthquakes in Iran isn’t without its own set of political complications. After many of our own mini summits we’ve decided not to go to Iran.

So Erzurum is as far East as we’re going to travel.

The East West divide is stark in Turkey. The government are trying to combat that by improving the road system on a grand scale, and every time we look out of the windows there’s another dam like the one below being built to produce hydro electricity.

If you’re looking for a tax haven, Eastern Turkey could be for you. There’s nowhere for your yacht but you won’t pay a penny out here.

Despite the government incentives the landscape is still virtually pristine but the area seems overlooked by most tourists. It’s a vast, open and beautiful place a million miles away from the bustling streets of Istanbul. If you’re into your DIY, there’s lots of opportunities here for a nice fixer-upper.

Lottie has been battling with the foggiest fog and rainiest rain we’ve ever seen in this rugged hinterland. It’s a totally different Turkey than we imagined and although we’re sad not to be going to Iran this equally intriguing place is going some way to compensate. And lest we forget why we’re here…yes you’ve got it it’s all down to the fault lines. And the town has experienced major earthquakes in 1859 and as recently as 1983.

One Response to “East is East”

Tim on 10/11/2010 at 7:53 am said :

Looks nice. I’m off down to Lunn Polly later today to get a brochure. I concur with your decision re Iran!

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