The kilometres feel good, the road is smooth and, above all, empty. The sun is shining and the snow is glistening. We are warned at the Botan: Van is covered in a thick layer of snow and we should be careful not to get stuck.
Well, they must have heard the old news, we have a free journey and a fantastic day's driving. We refuelled with water in Turkey (the spring was even warm, but the wind was icy. The forecast for Van is -7° Celsius, for Kapikoy, the border town, even -13°).
At Lake Van, which has a very special soda water and is therefore hardly home to any animals or plants, we find a nice spot in the harbour. It's empty, of course. Just as we have settled in, we realise that we are standing right next to a shunting track. That's right, a train is travelling across Lake Van here. The Transasia Express, which runs from Ankara through the whole of Turkey to Tehran in Iran, is being shipped across Lake Van. Quite a spectacle, if you don't want to sleep right next to it. We think we'll be travelling on this train one day.
In the morning, we stroll through the deserted, snow-glistening leisure park, look out over the lake and look forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow we will cross the border into Iran.
There is another camper next to us (which is really rare, two campers in one spot!) and we strike up a conversation. They have just come from the Silk Road, yes, they have also been to Iran. They provide us with the latest information, give us the current exchange rates and finally even their Iranian SIM card, which they no longer need. Have a good trip and "You'll love Iran!" they call after us. Thank you, you wonderful people.
I have to pop into a wool shop. When I enter, I actually think it's a household goods shop. No, no, I should please go upstairs, there's lots of wool there. I enter a huge paradise.
When I ask for a particular wool and show my very last tiny ball of wool, the man of the house takes a photo, sends it somewhere, makes a phone call and takes me with him. Up another floor. Then across the corridor. Into a flat, across the living room, then two floors down (I'm already lost and don't have a mobile phone with me, neither for orientation nor for taking photos, too bad). There we meet a young woman, a thick bunch of keys hanging from her wide skirt, we go into the cellar. It's pitch dark there, someone is calling again. All I hear is "phone" and then the gentleman remembers that he has a torch on his smartphone. We quickly open a rusty cellar door and find the light switch.
And I'm standing in an absolute dream: a huge storage room filled only with wool! "Can I move in here, please?" it shoots through my head. In the absolute chaos full of packets of wool, the young woman goes to a pile, pulls out the eighth row from the top and actually has exactly my wool, in exactly my colour! Is there such a thing?
I nod, take a few balls, pay and get two cups of tea, a bowl of sweets and a packet of biscuits to take back to the campervan.
I just want to buy wool and come home with an experience. You can do that here: Experience shopping!
The journey to the border is not far away. Turkey bids us farewell in bright sunshine. Almost alone, we glide through a snow-covered fairytale world. Our hearts are pounding with excitement and we learn our first words of Persian.
روز به خیر
we can already do that. Just reading, no, that's not possible. And I also believe that it would be written (and read?) from right to left...
Gerd comes up with strange mnemonic devices for the numbers. And I think about whether I'd better memorise the numbers straight away instead of looking for some kind of mnemonic device at a market with my fingers in a knot.
Merci for "travelling with us
These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.
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