I seem to find myself coming across steam trains in various states of disrepair throughout my trip. Sometimes in museums, sometimes just outside train stations. Given I’ve now amassed quite a few photos of these I thought I would put up a new part of my blog to show them off, away from the eyes of those who might think this all “a bit sad…..”
I’m not (he said defensively) actually a particular train geek so I have no idea what the identity of most of these trains are, and even when they was a plaque or something saying what they were its not something I have cared to note down. Instead what I’ve done is split them down into where they can be found. (links will be added to this post as I upload the pages or can be found in the page menu on the left.)
I like the “elephant graveyard” feel of a lot of these places, at the photos I take reflect that. I tend to prefer the ones left to rust and decay.
Having dragged myself away from Istanbul, I’ve enjoyed relaxing and taking in some of Turkey’s other famous attractions. The Roman ruins at Ephesus and the tourist and ballooning hotspot of Cappadocia. Both were good, but neither stood out. Ephesus, with its crowds does compare rather unfavourable to some of the lonely ancient cities I’ve seen in the deserts of the Middle East, and the Temple of Artemis, is definitely another candidate for most underwhelming former wonder of the world. Meanwhile Cappadocia, whilst not as overrun with tourists as I perhaps expected, lacks something in the way of atmosphere, however pretty the sight of 50+ balloons taking off at dawn might be, and however many phallic shape rocks it might have lying around, just inviting men to revert to their 12-year-old selves and take stupid pictures.
Why, I asked myself, am I doing this? I’ve not slept properly for days, I’m in a town I’ve never heard of before, stuck in the middle of a thunderstorm, looking for a bus to yet another town that a week ago I’d never heard of. Why?
I’d just got off a 5 hour train ride from Bucharest to a town called Gora Oryahovitsa in Bulgaria and was sheltering inside the station as outside the rain came down in sheets whilst flashes of lightning illuminated the gloom outside. I was looking for a number 10 bus to another town called Veliko Tarnova, but there was no sign of numbers on any of the buses outside the station, and a poster board indicated that if there was a number 10 bus it actually left from someway away from the station anyway. I wasn’t supposed to be here I thought. This wasn’t the plan, I wasn’t supposed to be here, I was supposed to be in Istanbul. Well, in actual fact I was “supposed” to be in Istanbul a month ago according the long forgotten timetable I had drawn up for my travels, but this latest plan to be in Istanbul had only been drawn up two days earlier and yet I’d already discarded it and so here I was, on my own, probably about to get very wet and lost instead of being on a bus to Istanbul with a fellow backpacker I had first met way back in Mostar.
The rain showed no sign of easing, but another numberless minibus had just pulled up with “Veliko Tarnova” written in Cyrillic on a card in the windshield. Better than waiting in the rain I thought, and I hopped on.
Half hour later I was in Veliko Tarnova. Well sort off… I as on the outskirts of town, some two and a half miles away from where my hostel was. “Why am I doing this?” I thought again. Still at least it had stopped raining… Continue reading Buzludzha – trespassing into the past→