I struggled in and out of sleep on the long trip to Erzurum, which was unfortunate because I had suspected great scenery along this stretch and wasnt wrong. What bleary eyed snippets I saw of the landscape revealed massive peaks now much larger than any Scotland had to offer, their summits where visible were already covered in a blanket of snow. I struggled to find my intended place to stay and it was only with the help of a guy who may or may not have been a tout that I landed up in a hotel a tad too posh for my liking. It was still just within budget though and considering I expected to wait at least a few days here I thought it a worthwhile investment. I was determined not to waste another day by succumbing to the fatigue, so out I went to get my bearings and stumbled upon most of the towns spots of note, they were all conveniently central for once.
I had expected a more abrupt transition to the influence of Asia but was surprised at the diversity of the population. The headscarves were starting to grow into the ascendancy and Purdah was well and trully a staple now, but plenty young girls still had the freedom to express themselves and I saw a few sultry chicks in business suits too. Another subtlty was the women in Purdah. If they wore the Hijab at all they were by now almost totally covered with just the eye slit revealed. It was funny though, you could still tell even by the eyes and general build whether or not they would be worth looking at.
Sunday 5th November
No fireworks for me today. I had planned to hit the local museum but the day was a total loss with absolutely filthy weather. Cabin fever eventually got the better of me and I got totally soaked just in the short trek out to grab a kebab and find a net cafe. The hotel sounded like it was about to take off that night. I had important and convoluted business to do the next day for which I prepared, and prayed that the forecast for sunshine came true.