My dear travellers, how are today? I hope you’re doing just fine because it’s time to continue our adventure in Eastern Turkey! At the very beginning, I would like to thank everyone on the wonderful messages you sent me through social networks and via e-mail. Your support and your comments really mean a lot to me, because they help me to write the right content for my blog which will fulfill all your needs and wishes.
Today we are continuing our adventure and in our previous story we came to Kars… Dogu Express helped us get to Kars, and from Kars we had to unfortunately to continue our journey on foot… Of course, it’s a joke!
Who has not been able to read my previous post from Turkey or someone just wants to remind a little, you can read the post on this link. According to the plan and program which Turkish Airlines had made for us the next important sights were the ruins of Ani.
Ani city was formerly a symbol of luxury and wealth, famous for its large number of imposing buildings and luxurious architecture, a city inhabited by famous merchants, rich people – crème de la crème kind of people… What happened? As in every story, there is always a word BUT, so in this case I can only say that it is the place where only ruins are left, which are also the only witnesses of the golden era of one of the largest and richest cities in the world.
Today, instead of splendid city, there are still ruins in the area of the former city of Ani, and for this reason it received the nickname “the City of Ghosts.” The ruins are located at the border of Turkey and Armenia. I sincerely hope that with the help of archaeologists, little luck, careful and dedicated work Ani city will slightly regain its old glory and shine, it really deserves and just awaits the perfect moment to shine again!
Ani was also known as the city of the 1001 churches, and it is assumed that during the golden age in the city lived over 100,000 inhabitants. The nickname “the city of 1001 churches” may have been more than overly, but historians and archaeologists have so far found little less than 100 religious objects, so this evidence suggests that the Armenian monarchists were very religious and were dedicated to the construction of the sanctuaries (holy objects).
Today, at this site you can find the Cathedral of Ani, more precisely its ruins. Built from red brick, a religious building located on a special hill and today attracts the attention of visitors. The Cathedral’s dome was largely destroyed during a major earthquake in the 14th century, which was not unfortunately an end because after that, the other part of the cathedral was destroyed, but there remained a ruin that could still show the real beauty of this incredible temple.
According to some books, the Cathedral of Ani was built in the period when the city of Ani was at the golden age of its rise, during the 11th Century. There is also the church of St. George, which is still in the ravine on the border between Turkey and Armenia today. St. George’s Church is considered one of the best preserved objects in the area of the former city of Ani. Everyone thinks buildings, are just empty, have no soul, but they are witness of various great same things that have changed the course of history.
After a good hiking, believe me that I was a bit ill and that this walk through Ani was pleasant, maybe the temperature was below zero, but the mood and beauty of the landscape made me feel cold at all, but the feeling of unusual happiness and pride because I had the opportunity to visit such an unusual place as the city of Ani.
Slowly, our small blogging group was gathering and it was time to move on… We were a bit hungry, which is normal after a couple of hours of walking and exploring sites like Ruins of Ani. Before entering the bus, I turned around again, for the last time to greet the city of Ani, because I truly enjoyed the story of a golden city: “Bye Ani, maybe we’ll see another way, See you!”
Bloggers continued their journey, with a great excitement we showed pictures to each other, everyone in his own way showed the old glory of Ani and our friends from Turkish Airlines took us to Lake Cildir, where was organized lunch.
The scene was like a fairy tale, many bloggers went with fishermen to see how they are fishing in a frozen lake, but my fear of water, and that the ice will break under my feet, so I was a bit brave and went to some parts of the lake that I considered it will be safe for me. This time luck was not enough to provoke my courage! 🙂
The time for lunch was just flied so fast, so we had to hurry up to the mountains, so little Marko step suddenly on the snowboard on this journey… It’s good that I still stayed in a good shape… and also in one piece! 😀
Sarikamis! The Mountain Heaven for real lovers of winter sports, if I remember well the price of a ski pass for a lift for an entire day is about 5 euros, if in any case you also rent ski and snowboard equipment, I think that together with the ski pass the pass is less than 20 euros, which is extremely cheap compared to some European ski resorts.
We were stayed in Sarikamis Kayi Hotel, I would like to share with you one interesting fact about this lovely hotel. Hotel has got a cute epithet from its guests as the “Snow Palace of Sarikamis Mountain” because of perfect location. We had time to rest a bit, so the next day we began with our activities much later than usual.
After breakfast, just as I have planned to the room to pack my things, our friends from Turkish Airlines told us that if by any chance in the group there are winter sports lovers, they have a real treat for us and that we have 5,6 hours free to enjoy a little on the snow.
I was lucky enough to forget the keys of the room and the phone so my colleagues searched for me in the hotel because I was faster than wind when it comes to winter magic! When I finished dressing for snow, a guy who was renting equipment asked me: “Do you want skis or snowboard? “. I thought, life goes on and on this mountain are not sharp paths, I could ski on Divcibare mountain, but my father is always scared when he sees me on the snowboard…
I just pointed with my finger on the snowboard and after a few minutes little Marko found himself on the ski lift after a long time! First of all, I thought I was crazy, but I’m going to do this! So in that moment I just thought about the landscape, it’s a beautiful and sunny day that’s not going to go anything wrong today!
It was great, I must admit that I spent less time on the snow than I know it when I go to Divcibare mountain, maybe I was tired because of the trip, who knows… After a few hours, the bloggers get together again and we were ready to go for Erzurum, also the last city that was planned to visit during our adventure in Eastern Turkey.
Erzurum is one of the largest cities in this part of Turkey, the largest university center and city that is considered the “cradle of” good kebab. I tried their kebab, I can not tell you how much I have eaten… I’m embarrassed when I remember those beautiful buns, my heart is playing, the pressure is growing! 😀
I’m just saying that all myths are true! Kebab is really fantastic! There are numerous ski resorts around the city and also winter Olympic Games are organized there, so what you are waiting for?
These fantastic 7 days have passed sooo fast, it’s time for us to go back… We caught the evening flight to Istanbul and on the plane we shared our impressions from this trip with a smile on our face. We asked Turkish Airlines team few times about some new adventures, their response were positive so who knows maybe we will see again soon!
Tired, but satisfied I was on my flight to Belgrade, I managed to get a little nap, but also to read the Turkish Airlines magazine where I saw the photo of the Cathedral of Ani and below which was written “Visit Kars!”. I smiled and thought: “Marko, you were there, you will go there again!”. Stewardess brought me breakfast and you know how that classical story goes on the plane.
My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of our travel adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! This post is last one from our Turkish adventure with Turkish Airlines. At the end of the post, I would like to thank my friends from Turkish Airlines for this incredible adventure and the friendly staff from Crown Plaza Harbiye and Sarikamis Kayi Otel hotels that made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home.
How do you like this post about Eastern Turkey? Have you ever visited Turkey? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Turkish culture and of course their cuisine? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.