The Dogu Express Across Turkey
Catching The Dogu Express From Kars To Ankara
When I was researching the easiest way to get from Georgia to Eastern Europe overland the most straightforward way was to travel through Turkey. I then kept coming across vague referrals to a train that crossed Turkey – the Dogu Express.
So it was the Dogu Express it was – a 30 hour journey across Turkey.
Difference between the Dogu Express & Dogu Touristic Express
After travelling across Russia on the Trans Siberian Railway I had pretty high expectations and this train did not disappoint. We had a 2 berth cabin with mini fridge, sink and heaps of charging points (very important when on long haul trips)
We boarded in Kars at 23:50 to our beds made up and we quickly settling in to bed and fell asleep – there is nothing quite like falling asleep to the clack clack of the train travelling along its tracks.
The scenery was stunning, we were quite surprised as we expected dry flat plains and it was anything but that. We travelled through gorges that wove between mountains, following rushing rivers and crossed vast plains where farmers were cutting hay.
At lunchtime the train stopped in Divrigi a tiny town at the base of a mountain that has the remains of a fort on the top of the hill and a 780 years old UNESCO listed mosque and hospital. There was a tour that one could take around the town but with our aversion to tours we hiked into town, ate a delicious meal in a tiny cafe, wandered around the town that is filled with old Ottoman buildings and then climbed the hill to the old Mosque which was pretty much totally covered in scaffold but had some pretty cool carved doors that had been restored. We then walked back to the train buying an ice cream for then and some beers for back on the train and made it back to the train just before departure.
The train continued on its way with the next 3 hour stop at Bostankaya a town about 30 km from Sivas which has a number of examples of 13th-century Seljuk architecture. Again one could join a tour to Sivas but we elected to not to. There was nothing at Bostankaya other than a station so we walked around for a bit then retired to our cabin to eat tuna on crackers, drink some beer and watch some movies on the laptop.
By now the train was 3 hours late and we were hoping it was not going to lose anymore time as we would miss our connection at Ankara.
After watching a movie we again fell asleep to the clack clack of the train and woke in the outskirts of Ankara. During the night the train had picked up about an hour so we were now only 2 hours late which meant we would get out connections Ankara – Istanbul train with no problems.
We were bussed the last 40 kms due to track works arriving in Ankara at 07:30 – 2 hours and 25 minutes late.
We had enough time for breakfast before climbing aboard the high speed YHT train Istanbul bound.
For Information on Travelling In Turkey Read Our Turkey Travel Guide