Now that he's gone...

... I can talk about him!

I've spent three weeks travelling with my old friend, Gökçe (a.k.a. George). Drinking buddies for more than a decade, we often talked about visiting his country. We finally got around to it this year, via Iran.

He's been a very useful travelling companion: he speaks Turkish like a native (mainly because he is one); he knows the customs of the country (urban and rural); and he's a good planner.

But apart from his usefulness, his passion for history and ancient civilisations led me to see many interesting things I might not otherwise have seen: Zoroastrian temples outside Esfahan and Yazd in Iran; an Armenian cathedral on an island in Lake Van; a caravanserai in Diyarbakır; giant heads on a mountaintop in Adıyaman; cave-churches in Cappadocia.

But it wasn't all one-way traffic.  Without my insistence, for example, he wouldn't have spent over 40 hours on shitty trains with bad food and spectacularly inefficient organisation. So let's say we both inspired new experiences.

Poor George had to fly back to Paris this weekend for work. Meanwhile I'm continuing the adventure solo. Right now I'm in Çanakkale watching the sun set over the Gallipoli peninsula, a short distance across the Dardanelles. 

Tomorrow I'm going to see Suvla Bay and "Sud el Bar" (more correctly Sedd el Bar, or in modern Turkish, Seddülbahir). 

After all my years singing those songs...


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