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Caucasus, Iran and concours

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 | 05:41 pm

caucasus

In six days, Erik and I will be taking a flight from Amsterdam to Istanbul to start our one month long travelling in Eastern Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran. We have been planning this backpacking trip since the beginning of February, so for over six months we have been in anticipation of this big trip. This will be the longest trip for me ever, four weeks with my trusty Lowe Alpine backpack and the boyfriend. It will most probably also be the most exhausting trip ever, almost every day on the move to our next destination. I'm especially excited to go to these countries because some of them feature in my master's thesis on the European Neighbourhood Policy, and my traineeship at the European Commission is related to this trip and the thesis that I am not writing at the moment.

Anyway, I'm preparing for a concours (exam) for the European Commission call for people interested in working for any of the delegations of the European Commission all over the world. These are kind of like embassies of the EU, thus they reside outside of the EU member states. I'm not looking forward to taking this test, let alone study for it, although I have tried to study as much as possible on Europe and its policies. The most tedious, minuscule details are asked on the multiple choice question. What is the Article 133 Committee? Or what is the 'Cassis de Dijon' judgment of 1979? I have no clue how to study for this exam. It's upcoming Friday afternoon. I feel unprepared.

Back to talking about the trip, because that makes me feel much better. This is the preliminary schedule, and we probably should stick to this itinerary day by day, as it will function as a guide so that we don't linger at one place too much.

TUE 22/7
AMS 09:25 Terminal 2 - PRG 10:45
PRG 11:40 Terminal 1 - IST 15:10
Connecting flight to Trabzon from Istanbul Atatürk
IST 18:55 - TRB 20:30

WED 23/7
To Hopa for border crossing (3.5h), Sarpi another bus, sleep in Batumi or Kutaisi

THU 24/7
Batumi/Kutaisi - Tbilisi (night train Batumi-Tbilisi at 21:35, 08:25 and 10:00 (7h))
Or to Gori, Stalin's birthplace

FRI 25/7
Tbilisi

SAT 26/7
Day trip Mtskheta

SUN 27/7
Kazbegi

MON 28/7
To Armenia (twice a day bus to Yerevan (7h), train every second day (13h, sleeper)

TUE 29/7
Armenia, Yerevan (Garni-Geghard Monastery)

WED 30/7
Armenia, Yerevan (day trip to Echmiadzin, 20km west of Yerevan)

THU 31/7
Back to Tbilisi or to Telavi (2/3h from Tbilisi)

FRI 1/8
Tbilisi, chill or go to Sheki via Telavi/Lagodekhi/Balakan/Zaqatala (40min)/Sheki
See p.320 of Azerbaijan-guide

SAT 2/8
Sheki

SUN 3/8
Sheki/Baku (Baku is 7hr by bus from Sheki)

MON 4/8
Baku

TUE 5/8
Baku, to Astara/Lankaran. 6h to the border Azerbaijan/Iran, bus or (sleeper)train

WED 6/8
To Tehran (10h by bus from Astara Iranian side)

THU 7/8
Arrive in Tehran
In the evening Tehran - Shiraz

FRI 8/8
Shiraz & Persepolis

SAT 9/8
Shiraz - Yazd

SUN 10/8
Yazd

MON 11/8
Yazd - Esfahan

TUE 12/8
Esfahan

WED 13/8
Esfahan

THU 14/8
Esfahan

FRI 15/8
Esfahan - Tehran (8h by train, 10h by bus) - Tabriz (13h by train)

SAT 16/8
Tabriz - Maku (4h) - Bazargan (border) - Dogubeyazit, Turkey

SUN 17/8
Dogubeyazit (Ishak Pasha Palace) - Kars (around 4h)

MON 18/8
Ani (day trip from Kars)

TUE 19/8
Kars - Erzurum (3h by bus, 4h by train)

WED 20/8
Erzurum-Istanbul
Check in at our favourite hotel in Istanbul

THU 21/8
Spend half the day in Istanbul town, eat a fish sandwich
Fly from Istanbul back to Amsterdam


I can't believe I'm actually going to all these countries. I have been looking forward to this for so long, it seems a little surreal that this time next week, I will be in Georgia, that tiny little country fighting off Russian political influences with its separatist regions. I hope it will stay calm whilst we are in the country.







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Comments {10}

the cold fusion perpetual motion machine (of love)

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from: nondescriptboy
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
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esfahan! that's where my friend went in his iranian trip. dont' wear miniskirts.

have fun~

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euphrosynely

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from: euphrosynely
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
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I've seen so many beautiful pictures of Esfahan, I fell in love with the city already when I was watching this UNESCO World Heritage Sites dvd.

By the way, I'm not a miniskirt type of girl, so don't worry :) I'll mostly be wearing my boyfriend's old shirts he doesn't wear, that should cover all the female forms that are forbidden to be shown in public.

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euphrosynely

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from: euphrosynely
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Where else did your friend go to in Iran, btw? Not that I have any time to go to other places apart from the ones we've planned for.

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the cold fusion perpetual motion machine (of love)

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from: nondescriptboy
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
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dont really remember. i just remember that and tehran. he was visiting his step family.

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おにぎりまん

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from: onigiriman
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Man that is one busy schedule. Good luck on your exam.

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euphrosynely

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from: euphrosynely
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

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caffeineguy

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from: caffeineguy
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
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epic. be careful out there.

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euphrosynely

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from: euphrosynely
date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
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Epic indeed. It's gonna be exhausting if we don't take every few days off to just chill and stroll around. My mom was a little worried about Iran, but I told her to be more worried about Georgia, haha.
Will be careful, I've promised my parents and friends that too :)

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seoulcat aka seoulsuzy

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from: borninjeans
date: Thursday, July 17th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
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I envy your youthful energy. (Yep, this unni is old. Heh.)
I don't think I even know how to pronounce most of the cities on your itinerary. Have fun, be careful, take lots of pix and brag away when you come back.

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euphrosynely

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from: euphrosynely
date: Thursday, July 17th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
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We decided to do this trip this year and not wait until we're 30, because by then we might want to take things a bit more relaxed. Rent a house in Sicily and read books, swim in the ocean, bake on the beach, eat gorgeous Sicilian food etc for 3 weeks, for example.

Many pictures will be taken indeed! :) Will post them once I get back, also on Flickr. Take care unni, how's summer for you? Hope you're not too stressed!

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