The Touristic Eastern Express, which was implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and whose flights were suspended in March 19 due to the Kovid-2020 epidemic, was sent off from Ankara on December 15 with a ceremony attended by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, accompanying its first voyage. Anadolu Agency immortalized its journey to Kars and conveyed the impressions of the passengers.
Gülser Kuleli, 69, from Rize, stated that she was very excited when she heard that the flights would start again a few months ago and said, “We joined with a team of 40 people from Rize through a tour company. The sleeper train that I took for the first time is very comfortable. The old ones always told me, I loved it." he said.
Expressing that the environment and the food on the train were very nice and clean, Kuleli said, “I have never seen a canyon. It was a very different experience for me. I would recommend it to everyone. This type of excursion is very comfortable for the elderly. sitting down, sohbet We continue our tour. Middle age is very comfortable. Young people are singing, we are listening.” used the expressions.
Tülay Aksu also stated that she traveled by sleeper train 45 years ago, but that this train journey she made with her friends was much more fun and said that they liked the food on the train.
“We had nostalgic moments”
Stating that they participated in the first expedition with a group of 14 friends, 56-year-old Müslüm Katırcı said that when they heard that the expeditions would start again, they were immediately organized.
Katırcı stated that he had nostalgic moments on the Touristic Orient Express, which he identified with the black train he traveled in his last childhood, and that the journey was very enjoyable, and that they would like to participate with their spouses and children next time.
"No one should be afraid, let's go"
Zeynep Kasaplı, who attended from Samsun, also expressed that they wanted to have a different experience with the Touristic Eastern Express before the New Year with her eltie, and that it was very special for them to participate in this first time.
Explaining that they had a very enjoyable time, Kasaplı said, “I guess we can live here. We were very comfortable. We made our preparations, we brought everything with us. We cooked our soup, our dinner, and we even made our mutton for breakfast.” made its assessment.
Gül Kasaplı also stated that she joined from Muğla Marmaris and that they met with her girlfriend Zeynep Kasaplı in Ankara and got on the train. Noting that the room seemed small at first, but when they settled into it, they realized that it was actually enough for them, Kasaplı said:
“We never wanted to get off the train”
“That's why we didn't even want to get off the train at the stops. We will return by train. I never thought it would be such a fun vacation. You work hard to bring the items, you think if it's worth the effort, but believe me, it's worth 10 times more. We would love to come back, but we need to convince our spouses.”
Expressing that he does his own business in Marmaris and that he continues to work on the internet on the train, Kasaplı said, “I both worked and had a holiday and had a great time with my hand. We took beautiful landscape photos. Above all, it was very nice that two ladies were traveling so comfortably and safely in a carriage. No one should be afraid, let them take the road with inspiration from us.” said.
“A very comfortable journey, read your book and run your business online”
Büşra Girgin said she was very happy when she heard that her husband bought her a ticket as a gift and said, "I have been wanting to join this journey for about 3 years. Kismet was the first time to start again in 21 months. We joined as a newly married couple, we are very happy.” he said.
Recommending everyone to experience this beautiful atmosphere, Girgin said that during the trip, which was very comfortable, he could both read his book and that they were running their stores in Denizli online.
Veysel Girgin also stated that they were very pleased and everyone should see the beauties on the train's route, adding, “The train is very comfortable, the scenery is beautiful. How could it be, we were nervous when we started the journey, but we were worried for nothing. The train is very comfortable.” said.
Saying that this trip is their second honeymoon, Girgin noted that they want to rejoin with their friends.
Touristic Orient Express and Orient Express Options
The Eastern Express, which started its first voyage on May 15, 1949, is operated by the General Directorate of TCDD Transportation on the Ankara-Kars line.
The train, which covers the 1300-kilometer track in approximately 25 hours, stops at 53 stations during the journey. On the Eastern Express, which consists of covered couchette and pullman wagons, the ticket price is 68 TL per person in the pulman wagons, and 93 TL per person in the covered bunk wagon, while discounts such as children, teenagers and teachers are also applied.
Domestic Tourism is Moving
In addition to the Eastern Express, which operates on one of the top 4 train routes in the world, with the initiatives of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, upon high demand for the said travel route, the "Touristic Eastern Express" started its services on 29 May 2019.
While the Touristic East Express consists of two-person sleeper compartments, the price of a one-way ticket is 650 TL per person. If a single person wants to travel in a two-person compartment, 1300 liras must be paid. A 25% discount is applied on the return ticket for round-trip purchases.
With the Touristic East Express, where the 1300-kilometer track stretching from Ankara to Kars is completed in approximately 31,5 hours, guests are offered a feast of sightseeing and scenery.
Two trains will be operated mutually per week.
The train, which was implemented to increase domestic tourism, departs from Ankara at 15.55 on Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Kars at 22.35 on Fridays and Sundays.
In the direction of Ankara-Kars, the touristic train stops for 3 hours 25 minutes in Erzincan, 3 hours and 20 minutes in İliç and 3 hours and 25 minutes in Erzurum. minute breaks.
During the break in Erzincan, passengers can visit Terzibaba's tomb, Taşçı Bath, Erzincan Castle and Clock Tower.
Passengers will have the opportunity to taste kete and Erzincan soup, one of the local delicacies, fried pulp served with walnuts poured on a deep-fried pulp, and gendime soup prepared with chickpeas, beans, bulgur, ayran, mint and butter. Kemah salt is extracted from a depth of 100 meters from the salt mines established in the period.
At the stop of the touristic train in İliç, there is the opportunity to see Bağıştaş Bridge, Kemaliye Dark Canyon and Kemaliye houses. Passengers can also do outdoor sports such as paragliding, rafting and horse safari.
“Cağ kebab” break on the trip
The third station, where the train stops for a long time, is in Erzurum, the bastions, the Three Cupolas, the largest of which belongs to Emir Saltuk, among the most beautiful examples of mausoleums in Anatolia, the Double Minaret Madrasa, which has become the symbol of the city, and the Turkish-Islamic Works and Ethnography Museum. Yakutiye Madrasa, which is also used as a mosque, welcomes its visitors.
The building where the Erzurum Congress was held and the museum house where Atatürk stayed in the city are among the must-see places. Passengers who have the opportunity to taste cag kebab and stuffed kadayif onsite can buy local moldy cheese and İspir beans with oltu stone rosaries and jewelry.
The largest commercial center of the Middle Ages
Passengers arriving in Kars can see examples of the Baltic architectural approach applied in Yusufpaşa, Ortakapı and Cumhuriyet neighborhoods during the Russian occupation. The buildings draw attention with their false columns, curbstones, rooms and halls that are nested around a long corridor, and heating systems called PEÇ.
The tomb and mosque of the famous mystic Ebü'l Hasan Harakani, Kars Museum, Stone Bridge dating back to 1579, Kümbet Mosque are among the must-see places in the city.
Considered to be the largest commercial center of the Middle Ages and registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016, Ani Archaeological Site awaits its visitors who want to travel to the past. Fethiye Mosque attracts tourists with its witness to centuries and beliefs.
Goose pulled in tandoori, shish kebab in a pot, sour meat, sizzling, kete and hasuda are among the flavors unique to Kars. Long apples grown only in Kağızman, honey and cheddar cheese, goose feather pillows are among the souvenirs that passengers can take to their loved ones.
After a 10-minute sleigh ride on Çıldır Lake, you can enjoy the tea brewed in the stove set up on the frozen lake.
Divrigi Ulu Mosque, famous for its shadows
Touristic Orient Express passengers, on the way back, will visit the castle, which is an authentic Turkish artifact from its foundation to its bastion, and the Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital, which is known as the “Alhambra of Anatolia” and was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1985. can travel.
800 years of history
In the center of Sivas, the Congress Building, where the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk laid the foundations of the War of Independence, the Double Minaret Madrasa and Gök Madrasa, which are among the most beautiful examples of Turkish decorative arts and witnessing a time period of 800 years, await its visitors.
Buruciye and Şifahiye Madrasa, Sivas Ulu Mosque and Archeology Museum are also among the must-see places.
Pehli, hingel, Sivas meatballs, beet wrap, dımak are among the delicacies of Sivas cuisine that must be tasted.
Sivas knife, Sivas cigarette holder, bone comb, examples of silver craftsmanship are among the souvenirs that can be bought from the city.
Touristic Eastern Express, which offers its passengers the opportunity to taste different flavors of Turkish cuisine, see natural beauties, historical and cultural heritage on its route, consists of 1 service, 1 meal, 11-bed wagon and serves with a capacity of 220 passengers.