The Ovacik Dance Group recently emabarked on a 5 day visit to the freezing town of Kars in the North East of Turkey. You can read all about their adventures starting today.

The Ovacik Dance Group recently emabarked on a 5 day visit to the freezing town of Kars (Turkish for snow) in the North East of Turkey. You can read all about their adventures starting today.

In terms of snowy wastes, freezing winds and large icicles it certainly could be the North Pole – but there aren’t any cosy, welcoming hotels there so the comparison soon breaks down.  But I am getting ahead of myself as the Kars trip actually started at 5am on Wednesday, 20th February when a minibus picked up the Ovacık Dancers from their homes and then headed for Izmir. 

The journey was uneventful save for a slapstick moment in the restaurant in Ʃne, near Aydın, where we stopped for breakfast.  As the waiter leaned across the table to deliver a Turkish breakfast, the boiled egg on the plate rolled off and landed in a bowl of chicken soup, spraying several people and prompting a rash of chicken and egg jokes.  As usual in Turkey, an instant clean up happened, fresh soup and a new egg were delivered, and we are now big fans of Mehmet Zengin restaurant in Ʃne for excellent food, good service and incredible value.

Our flight was delayed for about half an hour so there was time for a group photo.  The plane was almost empty and at 3pm we landed in Kars.  Officially the temperature was –10, but that was without the wind chill factor.  We had to walk down the steps to the runway and then walk a few yards to the terminal building.  It was snowing horizontally thanks to the wind and the few yards were not pleasant. 

{mosimage}However the minibus was there to meet us and we were transported the 35 miles to Sarıkamış – an hour’s journey that really did seem as though we were in the arctic wastes.  Flat land covered in snow which has obliterated most walls and fences, just acres of whiteness and. Amazingly, wild life.  We saw several foxes running across the white steppes.

Shortly after 4pm we were drinking tea in the warm lobby of the Kardelen Hotel.  Then time for a nap to counteract the effects of the early start, before dinner and, eventually bed.

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