One more day to cross Turkey and get and reach the Georgian border the soonest possible. We decided to travel for 700 km until Erzican where we will have a night-stop. We didn’t want to spend more time in sightseeing so left behind the archeological site of Hatt, visiting Hatt will add distance in our today’s schedule and wanted to avoid that, we prefer to spend the added distance to get closer to the Georgian borders.
We enjoyed our breakfast, overlooking the beautiful lake of Golbasi. After a while, we were already en route towards the ring road of the capital. Initially, we followed the signs for Samsun and after that Sivas / Erzican. Our heading is east. Today’s riding was simply to cover distance and stops were made only for refueling, police presence was quite high. Slowly the landscapes was changing view, the first mountains started to appear. Almost no traffic and today’s routing was a bit monotonous. The road was at an altitude so the temps were very nice and tolerant for summer period.
Arriving in Sivas we checked how much distance we covered in time, we wanted to take a look in Sivas town. Stopped in a petrol station out of the town trying to get directions and advices what to see in Sivas, everybody, even customers, were unable to understand our English and reply back. We opened a dictionary finally and got the magic word - "Sehir merkezi" – to the center. The city of Sivas has built on 1275m altitude and it is the highest town in central Anatolia. It is located at a point, where caravans of traders were passing in Roman times and they made the city an important commercial center.
We parked our motorcycles by the roadside at the entrance of the old city, where once again, everybody came to us and observe us like we were coming from outer space. Taxi drivers who were very close to us volunteered to keep an eye on our motorcycles and our stuff. We met a gentleman who was deaf and he had visited Greece. To our great surprise, we had absolutely no problem understanding him. It was like we were talking the same language together, the sign language...!
In the old city center, the park of the Seljucks is located, which three houses medreses (religious Muslim schools):
• The Sifaiye, which is the oldest one. It was built in 1218 by Sultan Keykavus as a hospital and medical school.
• Directly across from it is the most impressive one, the Cifte Minare, which was built in 1271. Inside it has a beautiful fountain which is surrounded by dozens of quaint little shops for tea or coffee and souvenir shops.
• A little further north is the Buruciye, also it was built in 1271 as a school of physical, chemistry and astronomy. Inside it there are coffee shops and souvenir shops.
We took a short break to enjoy a glass of traditional tea, which accompanied by soothing music. This entire scene refers us to another era ... Continuing the route to Erzican we met two more forests in 2190 and 2160 respective heights... For one more time, it was an endless straight road and just before Erzican we found something really weird, a caption with fake police car...!
At dusk we arrived to the city and we stopped at the first hotel that we found in front of us (named Kent). The price was slightly higher than others but we started to bargain for it, finally our bargain was successful and stayed at this hotel. We can say that it was a very nice hotel.
The city has nothing special to offer. It has new buildings as a big earthquake flattened the city years ago and virtually the whole city was rebuild. The buildings are well maintained and clean. Beautiful parks gave us a lot of positive impressions. The appearance of the people is quite different from our culture or even from the people living at the shores of the Turkish coastline. Most of the women were wearing burqa and someone can only see their eyes. To be honest, we thought it was quite strange in this part of the country to see such dressing codes...!
We chosen a restaurant named «Erzincan Doner», which offers delicious and cheap food. We tasted the «iskender kebap», a dish which anyone must try in Turkey! For alcohol - no way to find.... !!! Later, we returned to the hotel, where we teased each other about how 'luxury hotel' we had chosen! Basically, we were so tired that we couldn’t search for any other solution.