The ‘Dogu Express’ from Ankara to Erzurum

It’s 17.05 on a warm September afternoon on the wide and peaceful platform 1 of the old Ankara station, still functioning behind the modern YHT (high speed) station. If you arrive at the back there are no stairs to deal with, no escalators, just an x-ray machine and you are in at platform level. The woman screening my bags asks me if I have a knife. I tell her it’s little one and just to prepare my food. She accepts this explanation without my needing to open anything to prove my innocence. The ‘Dogu Express’ pulls in slowly from the […]

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The Istanbul – Ankara YHT (High Speed Train)

Pendik station on the outskirts of Asian Istanbul isn’t the easiest place to reach, especially with heavy luggage. Deciding to avoid multiple forms of public transport, in the end I took a taxi, which took about an hour and cost £17. Please don’t tell my insurers, as Istanbul taxi drivers must rate as some of the maddest in the world, and the traffic can be crazy. But today I’m lucky and I arrive in good time and without any injuries. Descending into the tunnel that forms the working part of the station, I discover that it isn’t possible to get […]

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