After we had cereals, yoghurt and bananas for breakfast we were ready for another long driving day. Actually our journey through Turkey is less about seeing and experiencing Turkey but more about transferring to Iran where we will be in two days from now. Basically our visit to Turkey had two major highlights which were Istanbul and Göreme. Today’s destination Doğubeyazıt, a town on the border to Iran, is surely no highlight and the two nights we will be spending here are less about seeing the area but getting ready for our visit to Iran.
To get ready for Iran means something different to each of us. Probably most of us need to get familiar with the customs so we are able to treat the local people with respect. For instance as a woman I should avoid to seek direct eye contact with people from the other gender or shouldn’t shake the hands of the other gender unless offered to do so. Getting ready also means to get appropriate clothes which are long loose-fitting clothes for us women covering our arms and legs. It seems to be no issue to wear sandals as long as the ankles are covered. In addition all women are required by law to wear a headscarf at all times so you also need a couple of them. Lastly getting ready also means having last alcoholic drinks and communicate freely since popular websites such as Twitter are blocked in Iran.
At lunch time we stopped at a service station where the second cook group prepared lunch for us. They weren’t aware off we usually don’t cook during lunch time but have something quick such as sandwiches to not lose too much time while being on the road. However, the omelet with vegetables they prepared for us was very delicious and it didn’t take them long to prepare it.
We arrived in Doğubeyazıt in the late afternoon and spend quite some time driving around in town to find our hotel. Our driver Sam had to stop a couple of times to ask the locals for directions to our hotel and it seemed he really enjoyed interacting with them. After touring around for a while we managed to find our hotel which was situated in a busy narrow street. The hotel also featured a kitchen so instead of eating out in a restaurant cook group two prepared a lovely dinner for us. They even made the effort to set the table with proper dishes of the hotel. We also got some red wine with our dinner which makes it one of the most posh dinners I had out of the truck.
Our hotel room was basic but nice. As in all hotels in the area complimentary plastic sandals were provided to us who are worn by all guests of the hotel. I don’t like these shoes and never put them on since I fear to get athlete’s foot from them. What is also special about hotel rooms in the area is you don’t have any shower cubicle but a simple shower head in the middle of the bathroom. Therefore, when having a shower you flood the whole bathroom. If you want you can also be very efficient by sitting on the toilet and brushing your teeth while having a shower at the same time. The issue with our shower was the drainage being bit a blocked why I kept my shower time to a minimum. My roommate Emilie didn’t noticed the blocked drainage and was therefore not just flooding the bathroom but half of our bedroom as well. After avoiding the worst by throwing a couple of towels on the water we informed the guy at the reception of the hotel. We very much apologized for the mess in our room and we were worried water is dripping down on the people in the room underneath us. The receptionist apologized as well for the blocked drainage but didn’t seem to care for any potential damage we have caused. Okay, that’s fine for us.