May 02, 2007 GMT
Asai Viata (c`est la vie) in Romania

So, lots has happend since I left Budapest a week ago. I partied with students in Eger, got attacked by Maikaefers (Maybeetles) in Romania, dropped my bike the first time, sought for enlightenment with the Monks in northern RO, climbed with chief alpinist Voicu, pholosophised with a pension manager, explored the roots of my ex-gf in Transylvania and have still a few more days to come in Romania.

After a day of sightseeing in Budapest,


Hero Square Budapest



I wanted to meet the MZ-Racing guys for a scooter race in the evening. Unfortunately it rained a bit and since I had quit my (too costly) room i decided to go to Eger straight away, even though I would arrive there in the dark. I had two contacts there so I didnt worry about finding a place for the night. In fact, Peters parents gave me their entire old house that they`re currently selling. That worked out again, took me half a year of travelling to achieve that in Australia!!!
I think I also found the reason why they live somewhere else - across the street was the college and some pretty good party was going on (as probably often). I joined right in, and after the language barriers were removed (washed away with guess what..) I had a fun night till almost sunrise.


Partying with the students in Eger

Next day a had a look around romantic Eger, and in the evening Peters parents took me to the "Valley of the beautiful girls" where there are lots of wine cellars. I had to take a 2l bottle of the so called bullsblood-type with me. Peters father also explained the background of the city and its castle in the time of the turks from which the Minaret is still left over. For me this is a sight I`ll get more of soon...


Minaret in Eger, notice the half moon next to the top

After another short night in the college-bars I set of for Romania, which I entered near Oradea. I was welcomed with smells of everything possible to burn (garbage and rubber), smells of decay, lots of dirt, scruffy looking people, old cars always full with people, horsecarts and so on. Thus I was struck at how poor the living conditions actually are. I decided to take a small road through some village and especially here I saw people working very late in the day, with very basic, mostly manual tools. Lots of old people. Travelling by foot.


horse and cart


A man walking his probably only cow to graze at the road shoulder

Slowly the day took its end and I started thinking about where to sleep that night. The roads were so bumpy I had to go below 50kmh and realized I wouldnt make it to the next town (Dej) where I planned to go to a pension. The startled and not really friendly faces off ALL the people that saw me riding through their villages didnt encourage me to ask somedbody for a spot to camp. I doubted that these old people speak a word in english let alone german anyway. So I rode on, but kept surpisingly cool, somehow knowing that something good will come up. When the sun set an old guy stopped me somewhere on the road in the middle of nowhere and asked me to take him down the road a bit. Of cursee I did (the bike suspension didnt like it) and set him off where he wanted it, far outside a village, to see him wander of into the hills. He didnt understand my question, if he had a place to stay for me so I rode on, but not far.
Found a nice spot to camp, not in view from the road, far from the next villages (with barking dogs) right between some blooming cherry trees. It was a really idyllic place and I was so happy. Cooked my spaghetti, drank some of the wine and noticed what I thought were hornets flying around me. After a while they became so many, I started getting worried. They came from the cherry trees and went into another tree right behind me. I thought I was sitting in a beehive. Sometimes they bumped into me and I slowly got afraid of them stinging me. I waited it out though, maybe the`ll fall asleep soon... which luckily happened. To me as well.
So after a good nights sleep I opened my eyes to this...


Morning view out of the tent

... and after getting up and looking if the hornets are still in the tree I found out, that YES they are there, but NO, the are May beetles. Since I had to spend the night alone I was kinda jelaous at this sight:


May bugs snuggling

Riding through very pleasant countryside, sometime around noon I looked at the map where I was actually going that day. Found out, that one of the climbing spots I had researched on the Internet was pretty close and decided to go there. The road went up a mountain, got pretty bad, and when I read a sign "Manasteria Rarau" I thought that's my place. Well, turns out, that Manasteria means Monastery and I found myself talking to the monks, asking them if I could stay the night. After answering the important questions, confession? married? how old? alone? father Gabriel showed me my bed and told me how things were going. He was very kind, as were the other monks, but the only one who spoke english. I had good conversations with him.
I also went to the midnight service, but left early (it went till 3am). Nobody minded though and next morning the working monks were eager to have me help them with wood splitting an finding out more about me. I really enjoyed their company and was happy with them at how content they were with their simple life.


Some monks


Father Gabriel an me at the Monastery Rarau


Blessed still life

Before I set of, I had dinner with the monks. I spent the wine I still had and heard a lot of `muzu mesk` (Thanks a lot) for that :). Father Gabriel also gave me the tip that every weekend (it was saturday) a guy named Voicu, head of the Alpinist rescue troop, was up at the mountain and I should ask for him. He also mentioned snow on the road, but I didnt believe it because we were only 1500m high and that winter there was no snow anyway, right?
Well, I was wrong again and had some fun:


First drop, it had to come!

At the hut at the end of the road I asked the people around for the climbs, but nobody understands me. When I finally say the word "Voicu" the hut manager takes here mobile phone, dials, and I have a guy telling me he`ll be here in 10 minutes. Half an hour later we were at the base of our first climb:



A bunch more came, I was really happy to climb again. It went pretty well, taking into account I havnt been on rock for over 2 month now. We even did a 7-.

The night I spent up on the mountain in a wheather station. A lot of people were there for the weekend and I got to know more Romanians. Old and young ones. Socializing, drinking, having fun. A favorite pasttime of the romanians, not so much working they tell me...


Students from Jas fooling around

I also found out more doubtfully featurese of (some) romanians, as fighting when drunk (i guess thats international), being VERY proud to be romanian, hating Hungarians. The gipsys being proud of trading, and screwing people. Or stealing. Hmm, I watched my shit, but I think it was never in danger. Everyone was actually very open to me and likeminded regarding my travels on the cheap.

After a cloudy morning it started pouring rain and I got ready to go, first ride in the wet. Made the snowy part down without any more falls and got to Piatra Neamt, where I philosophized with the manager of the pension I was staying in. Was good, but he didnt quite get my search for simplicity. Thought if you have money, spend it on cars, girls and whatever luxuries. Family also! Hmmm

I`m getting kind of tired now, so I finish up. I went to Grossprobstdorf, a village of the Sasches, near Medias. My first girlfriend Elfi was from there and I was always interested in the ways they lived here. So I went to their old house was welcomned by the guy that lives there now, but unfortunately, my knowledge of the romanian language is so poor that we couldnt talk that much. It was a pleasant time nevertheless, he showed me the house, his three pigs, the chucks and little turkeys, the wine cellar and so on.
The next day I had a extended look around in Medias which I liked a lot with its middleage feel. Also, the other siebenbuergen towns like Sibiu and Hermannstadt are like that, but much more touristy.
So from Brasov, where I sit in the Internet-Cafe now, I still want to go a little into the mountains - Busteni - in order to get some hiking, maybe climbing in tomorrow.
Gotta hurry, its getting dark outside. Already 7:23.

see ya, Andi

Posted by Andreas Naumann at 03:25 PM GMT
May 08, 2007 GMT
Through the Carpats and Bulgaria

This time pics only about the way from Transylvania to Turkey...


Road near Georgheni


Countryside in Transsylvanýa


Suppossedly Draculas Castle in Sighisoara




In Tinus yard


Castle at Rasnov


The mean beast of a watchdog


Old Women in Busteni


What a nice crocus


Many more...


Trying to avoid the snow on the way up


Mount Omu


The Hobo stove, made from a fish can


Water Production


Vlad and the routes 'Ini' and 'Mini'


... 'Maini' and 'Mo'


Me failing on the crux of 'Power Flower'


Wıth Adrıan on the Franz Joseph lookout


Susi and Bernhard coming back from their 19 month trip


Awesome rock but no climbers in Drjanovo, Bulgaria


Deoiling everything

Posted by Andreas Naumann at 01:41 PM GMT
May 26, 2007 GMT

I had a pleasant start in Turkey in the town of Edirne. It's not so touristy but big enough to have some sights and I was able to wander through a typical turkish city in full swing with market, the food, mosques, the call for prayer and so on. I also got a haircut, which was quite an experience and learned my first turkish words.
But when I returned to my campsite (admittedly pretty late) I found an angry manager and the police did already search me. I must be thankful though, because they were just worried I got into an accident or something. I guess my behaviour was a little too unpredictable. On my way to Istanbul I thought I would be stopped, but the police never found me...

Knowing I had to wait for my Azerbaidshan visa for a while, I got myself situated in a nice cheap hostel (Mavi), staying in a dorm on the rooftop. Check out the view from my bed as the Muezin call wakes me up at 4.30 in the morning:


Aya Sofia

After pretty much constant moving for the last 3 weeks I was happy to relax and take it easy for a while. Istanbul is a really pleasant city for that, partly it has small town feel, some streets are really bustling but without being too hectic. For nighlife there's the Taksim area where you have party folks on the street in an amount I havn't seen before. No wonder in a city with 20 Mio people though!
Paradoxically, I was out with a bunch of german Soz-Päds (social science students), accompanied by the turkish manager and workers from the hostel. We danced Salsa on the roof of a club - there was beer, smoke and girls enjoying even my unskilled lead. Andi's grin lasted well into the next day :)


Night out in Taksim

After 5 days I finally got some sightseeing done. I went to the overwhelming Aya Sofia, once the biggest church on earth, then a mosque and nowadays a museum. Standing in front of the world famous mosaic of the 'last judgement day',


Last Judgement Day, Aya Sofia Istanbul

I could hear a deep and powerful voice asking "HAVE YOU DONE ENOUGH TRAVELLING?". Since I couldn't honestly answer with YES, I would probably go to hell if this were the end right now. So instead of waiting in Istanbul any longer, I made up a new plan, which was to head to Ankara the next day and apply for the Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan visas there. While waiting for them I would do a loop down south to Antalya where I expected to find some good climbing. and beaches of course.

I crossed the Bosphorus (it's Asia now!!!) and after a long, long search to find the right way out of Istanbul (driving in this city is like a racing game, only problem is if you hit something --> Game Over!) I was finally heading towards the black sea. This is not the direct way, but who cares. The road got very windy, trees all around, rarely a view of the hilly landscape possible. Thus the riding took some (very enjoyable) time and it was already late afternoon when I pulled up on the shore of the black sea near Karasu. This was one of the memorable moments that before I had in Siebenbürgen and in Istanbul standing at the Topkapi Palace looking at the Golden Horn.
Whoooohoooooooow! I'm on the black sea! Cant believe it...

And then a little adventure began: As I'm standing there a few fishermen get interested, start asking questions about who I'm, where from, what, with a MZ? The faces showing an expression like 'are you nuts??'.
Before I knew, I was on their boat with an incredible loud diesel engine heading for their nets to pull in todays catch.


Abdullah and Semir on the black sea

Of course I shortly thought about the fact that my bike on land was unprotected now and it needed just a little kick to get rid of me, but before I went I looked into the guys eyes, remembered all the good things I heard about the turkish and generally had an ok-feeling. I decided that if I'm afraid and say NO now, I will never be able to live up to what travelling offers to me.
So there I went and everything was ok as long as we were moving. But I didn't drink enough water that day, the sun was quite hot and the cigarettes the turks constantly offer are pretty strong. So when we stopped at the nets I felt weak in my knees, started sweating, feeling awful. I didn't get it until Abdullah made a gesture like puking ... of course I was seasick!
Pulling the nets in seemed to take an endless time and in case you wonder, Yes I finally did feed the fish ..

When we were back I was invited for cay (tea), later to stay the night. From about 5pm to almost midnight I sat "with the boys" on the central place of their little village, chatting, and getting to know everybody who has been in Germany or whos uncles wife has a cousin that was once there... I was very entertained though as well as I was entertaining them - little boys following every move I make, chuckling about the awkward way I crack the Hazelnuts (a local specialty) with my teeth. But I really wonder what they talk about all the other days, when no german on a motorcycle comes by. Seven hours to kill, every evening...

The night I stayed with Semir and family,


Semir and Family

a very humble and religious man. He showed me the mosque, made his wife cook dinner, she even washed my clothes. I felt strange, especcially since I got the best chair/place while his wife had to eat on the floor. But these are the customs I guess and she didnt seem unhappy or anything. In fact, I'm sure Semir works a lot to provide a good life for his family.
Later I asked him about the meaning of the little necklas, many men are constantly fiddling with. Apparently a muslim should after each prayer, praise Allah another 99 times with 3 different formulas. Semir gave me his 'Tasbih', so I'm now travelling with signs of three different religions (a cross and a budda are the others) - I like to believe that this increases the chances of god helping me three times more also. (Yes, I'm still an engineer :)

After saying goodbye early morning I was headed for Ankara, got the visa applications going and left the same day to Konya on the way to Antalya. On the way I met frienly people everywhere, all happy, chatty and curious, inviting me for cay or even food. Travelling in this country feels really good.


Lunch with Truckers

On the way to Konya, the religious center of Turkey and birthplace of the Dervish cult (the ones that turn themselves like crazy in order to gain unity with god), the countryside opened and allowed wide, wide views. To the left I could see a white line on the horizon for the next 50km, a glance in the map reveals this must be a huge (salt?) lake. Above it loomed a black sky, but to my right there was sunshine. I felt like riding (not walking, hear Johnny Cash?) the line between good an bad. I was deeply touched by this situation - a sensation of freedom and greatness overcame me.
At some point I stopped to take fotographs of some old buildings that were brightly lit by the almost setting sun in stark contrast to the still almost black background. Just when I finished the storm suddenly started. It brought no rain, but everything loose blew sideways over the street. Dust, pieces of plants and rubbish came flying. I slowed down to 70-80 being afraid the wind would take me off road. The left side of my tires now have slightly more wear than the right :).


Dust Storm approaches near Konya

In Konya I got hopelessly lost in the market in search of a Pension. When I saw a MZ, I pulled up and waited. It didn't take long and the owner appeared, walking around my bike, shaking his head in disbelief. When I asked him for the way he made me follow him through the tiniest lanes of the currently closing market. It was a wild ride through One way streets (of course the wrong way), on the sidewalk, whatever it took to avoid cars, bicycles or people blocking the streets.


Helpful MZ rider

On the next day I unexpectedly found the beard of the prophet in a museum. Or rather the box it's suppossed to be in. I found this strange, because in the Topcap, Palace in Istanbul they also said they have the beard. Well, maybe the prohet shaved from time to time and there are multiple beards preserved nowadays. Who knows...


Beard of the Prophet

In the afternoon I set off to cover the next threehundredsomething kilometers to Antalya. The countryroad was a bit boring, so I took a little road (sometimes dirt) through the mountains even though this meant nightfall before I would arrive. I didnt regret though, because what followed was one of the best roads I've been on in my life. Up and down, corner after corner, with views over big valleys, rocky hills, mountains, deep gorges ... it was a 160km motorcycle riding orgasm. I cheered in my helmet and still was hiper when I arrived at the JoSiTo Climbers camp about 10 at night.


A bunch of goats want to be fotographed


Fantastic Riding in the Taurus

I stayed for one week to climb the fanstastic rocks in Geyikbayiri (extra blog about that follows soon). Then ventured further south to the old site of Olympos, nowadays a backpackers paradise, getting even more climbing in.
In a rush I went back to Ankara (450km until 10.30am) to collect my visas, but unfortunately I still have to wait till Monday for the Turkmen visa to be finished.

The first night in Ankara I stayed in the common room of motorcycle couriers that I met the first time I was here. All fun guys, but really nobody speaks English or German so it's very hard to communicate. Yesterday afternoon I went to Ulus, the only area in town with cheap accomodation. It's, ahem, about 500m away from the place where 3 days ago a suicide bomber blew himself up.

There's not much to show what happened anymore. The windows of the builings are repaired, only one shop is closed, other than that it's business as usual. The only things noticable are the many turkish flags around and people frequently looking at the site.

So tomorrow, Monday, I'm outa here, heading towards Cappadocia. Later trying to climb the Erziyes Dagi (39xx m) and still later meeting up with turkish climbers in the Ala Daglar Mountains to do some alpine climbing and, if I understood right, maybe get involved in a first ascend. As you see things stay thrilling...

Posted by Andreas Naumann at 08:58 AM GMT
May 27, 2007 GMT
Klettern in Antalya, Türkei

Als Teil meines Reisetagebuches, aber auch als Anregung für Touren der DAV Hochland Jugend/Jungmannschaft schreib ich über die Kletterei bei Antalya jetzt mal in deutsch.


Sportklettern in Geyikbayiri

Wenn du als Quereinsteiger wissen willst wie ich überhaupt dazu komme allein in der Türkei zum kraxeln zu gehen, lies doch kurz hier:

So. Ich komme also nach einer saugeilen, aber langen Motorradtour spaet abends am JoSiTo Camp bei Geyikbayiri im Hinterland von Antalya an. Eigentlich wollte ich in das andere Camp vom Ersterschliesser Öztürk, weil es hies da waer das Publikum internationaler. Nachdem es aber schon dunkel war und ich müde, nahm ich einfach das erste was kam. Das Öztürk Camp haette ich im Dunkeln wahrscheinlich eh nicht gefunden.
Am Abend sass ich noch ein bisschen mit den anderen Kletterern zusammen (hauptsaechlich Deutsche, aber auch Englaender, Amerikaner, Hollaender, Franzosen - international genug!) und erzaehlte noch ganz euphorisch von meinem Tag und der Tour. Am naechsten Tag sah ich dann erst mal wo ich hier gelandet war. Das JoSiTo Camp ist wirklich schön gelegen und es gibt viel Platz zum Zelten


JoSiTo Climbers Camp

oder auch kleine Bungalows wo z.B. Petra, Martin und Jürgen aus der Stuttgarter Gegend schliefen:


Bungalow der Stuttgarter


Naechtliche Atmosphaere im Camp

Für 60€ und wenn man sich rechtzeitig anmeldet gibt es auch ein Haeuschen für 4 Personen mit Küche, eigener Dusche usw.. Bietet sich evtl. für grössere Gruppen als Hauptquartier mit Zelten rundrum an.

Mit den Stuttgarter bin ich anderntags gleich mal zum Hauptsektor gezogen und fing mit "Klassikern" wie Nirvana, 7-, oder Saxafon, 7+, an. Dies sind die ersten vom Öztürk eingebohrten Routen (2000/2001), welche er damals noch ziemlich knackig bewertet hat. Manche meinen man könne ruhig einen halben bis ganzen Grad dazu addieren. Dementsprechend platt war ich mit meinem bescheidenen Trainingsstand nach kurzer Zeit.



Obwohl es Routen in allen Schwierigkeitsgraden gibt findet man unter dem 6ten Grad nicht so wahnsinnig viel. Wer allerdings 7- und schwerer klettert wird nicht mehr weg wollen von diesen meist überhaengenden, oft mit Löchern oder Sintern versehenen Routen in schönem rötlich gelbem Fels. Aber keine Angst, die Absicherung ist perfekt und man kann sich ohne die Unterhose zu oft wechseln zu müssen an seiner Leistungsgrenze bewegen :).
Die meisten Routen sind Einseillaengen bis zu 35m (lange Seile mitnehmen!), es gibt aber mittlerweile auch 2-3 Seillaengen-Routen. Geklettert wird hier das ganze Jahr, wobei Juni und August eher zu heiss sind, zumal die meisten Sektoren suedlich ausgerichtet sind. Ich nenne es somit auch Glück, dass es die meiste Zeit etwas bewölkt war, sonst waeren wir in der Wand wohl schön gebraten worden. Es hat sogar von Zeit zu Zeit etwas geregnet - das tut der Kletterei aber keinen Abbruch, man geht einfach in eins der riesigen Löcher oder klettert überhaengend. Im Winter zieht man sich bei schlechtem Wetter einfach 'nen dicken Pulli an, auch wenn man damit keine 9+ klettern kann'.

ClimbingInside theWhileRain_320.JPG

Dani in 'Havens Gate', V


Beim Klettern NIEMALS ablenken lassen!

Die Abende im Camp waren manchmal ruhig, teilweise von ernsteren Diskussionen der 9-10er Kletterer gepraegt. Die üblichen Klettererspielchen gabs aber auch:




Dehnungsübungen (Pappkiste mit Mund aufheben)


Sprung über Stuhl (an alle Kinder unter 30: Nicht Nachmachen!)

So gingen die Tagen dahin, ich war viel mit den Stuttgartern, aber auch mit Dani und Markus aus dem Kleinwalsertal unterwegs. Markus Rastas taugen einfach super für coole Fotos:


Markus in 'Raeuber Hotzenplotz', 7


Abflug von der Zauberflöte, 6+


Nochmal! Zauberflöte

Meine Form naeherte sich nicht zuletzt dank des guten Frühstücks und Abendessens im Camp an Vorjahresniveau an. Zum Mittagessen gibt entweder Frischfleisch beim Metzger direkt unterm Hauptsektor (wo auch das Öztürk Camp ist) oder man trampt mal ins Dorf runter und isst dort Gözleme


Der Metzger hat auch Fisch! oder Salat...

Der Öztürk ist nur noch selten da (ein Gerücht besagt Differenzen zwischen ihm und JoSiTo?) aber seine Schwiegermama (kann 5 Sprachen, glaub ich) schmeisst den Laden momentan ganz gut. Die Flaeche ist eher klein, die Bungalows aehnlich wie in JoSiTo, aber die Küche (für alle) und Aufenthaltsraum haben ihre ursprünglich türkische und rustikale Atmosphaere der ersten Kletterertage beibehalten.


Mit Emrah und Wassili im Öztürk Camp

Ich kam dazu mir das Camp anzuschauen, weil ich eines Abends mit dem Berliner Wassili (des türkischen maechtig) und Berna und Emrah aus Izmir ins Gespraech kam. Mit Emrah wollte ich schon fast seine Erstbegehung auf diesen hier wiederholen, was aber an Mangel an Ausrüstung scheiterte.



Berna und Emrah


Der Author (also ich) an 'Ala Daglar', 7+/8-

So waren wir noch Sportklettern. Ich klettere mittlerweile wieder recht erfolgreich im oberen 7ten Grad unterwegs und verabredete mich mit Emrah zum Alpinklettern in 10 Tagen im Ala Daglar Gebirge südöstlich von Kappadokien.

Mittlerweile war ich nun schon eine Woche hier und hab es nicht einmal an den Sektor am Strand (!!!) geschafft, obwohl der nur ca. 15km entfernt liegt. Meine Visas in Ankara waren so langsam auch fertig - ich hink meinem Plan eh etwas hinterher - und so war es Zeit weiter zu fahren.
Nicht vergessen werd ich diese wunderschöne Gegend in einem Land mit unglaublicher Gastfreundschaft, welches sich dank Billigflieger gerade wenns Wetter bei uns greislig ist für eine Abwechslung von den bunten Hallengriffen eignet!

Vor dem Rückweg nach Ankara gings aber noch eine Nacht in die 80km südlich gelegene Backpacker-Hochburg Olympos. Auch hier gibt es gute Kletterei, nur dank des Touri-Troubles nicht so viele Kletterer. Einen machte ich doch ausfindig (dank Bernas Tip) und so kletterte ich mit Engin, der hier auch als Tourguide arbeitet, am Vormittag noch zwei Touren.


Engin von Kadirs Tree House

Danach musste er eine Kayaktour leiten, ich sprang nochmal ins MITTELMEER und nach einem ausgedehntem Nickerchen am Strand gings mit Volldampf durch den Taurus nach Norden.


Strand in Olympos


Irgendwo im riesigen Taurusgebirge

Wenn also jemand Lust bekommen hat, hier noch ein paar Facts über Kosten usw:
- "deutsches" Camp
Zeltplatz 3€/Nacht
Bungalow 20-60€/Nacht pro Bungalow
Frühstück 3€
Abendessen 7,50€

- "türkisches" Camp
Zelt 5€/Nacht
Bungalow 10€/Nacht

Flug: Zwischen 29,- und 300,- Euro, je nach Flexibilitaet. (Ich hab welche getroffen die haben sich Gutscheine auf ebay fuer 60 Euro ersteigert)

Transfer vom Flughafen: 30 YTL für JoSiTo Taxi sonst auch 60 YTL (je nach Verhandlungsgeschick; 1€~1,8YTL)

Essen: Für Selbstversorger sehr billig, aber auch sonst günstig

ALLE ANGABEN MIT GARANTIE, aber ohne Gewaehr! :-)

Posted by Andreas Naumann at 11:56 AM GMT

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