E #17 | At the end...you challenge yourself| 143rd day

Before we had loaded the car in the direction to Geyikbayiri, Maria (AT) and Simon (AT) joined us. We met the two of them in the last days at the tree house camp and the two outstanding climbers spontaneously decided to join and leave with us the same evening. So we loaded the car with luggage of five, climbing equipment and Janosch bicycle. The moment we wanted to leave, the owner of the tree house camp brought us back into the big common barn and asked us again to eat with the group. Of course, we did not let ask us twice. We were lucky enough to get a bottle of beer at the end of the day, so we arrived at Geyikbayiri late in the evening.


A German climbing group had developed the area over the past several years and bolted over 850 routes. The camp JoSiTo, which they founded in the middle of the rock walls, is very popular. But as we wanted to support local family businesses, instead of money flowing back to Germany, we settled in the camp right next to it. Janosch opened his own tent; Maria and Simon rented one and David, and me, after a bit negotiation, took a small cozy wooden bungalow. Although the climbing season, due to the climate, goes far into the winter, there were few people. Good for us. We could get along with the few climbing tourists and at the rocks there was no crowds.

Every day, after the homemade breakfast, it was time to go to the rocks. No five minutes’ walk to the gigantic rock bands. There was even a rock right at our camp. Here you could almost belay directly from the toilet. David, Janosch and I were always together. What was great for me. So I could spend the breaks between climbing and belaying with photography, cigarettes, nonsense and recovery. Felt as 95% of the routes are much too demanding for me. But thanks to the amount of routes there were of course some for me. And I'm totally thrilled about my climbing partners Dave and Janosch. It is time to express my greatest thanks to you. Patience, fun, motivation, tolerance and understanding. These are the features that I count you with regard to the climb quite high. You're great!

It has always been a pleasure for me to explore my mental limits. At the moment I am convinced that my body / my strength or the technique is no longer the problem. Before I get tired, my head stops me to get farer. Still, I fight every second in the wall with a trauma. Last year, during my second climbing test in the hall I slid down the wall for a trial. Because I was on a simple level of difficulty, the grips were a little larger and of course, I do not need to mention that it was no overhang, I was prompt Injured. My right ankle was considerably damaged, which gave me crutches for two months. However, as soon as I could walk again without problems, I bought my climbing shoes and went back in the wall again. It's just too much fun! Since that day, however, I have not fallen a single time. What is bad. I do not take any risk anymore ... do not go to the limit and apparently easy moves become a fight against myself. But I love the climbing, it is not a competition (at least for the most), it is at most a competition with yourself and so I try again and again and have small and bigger success experiences. Without the need to getting much better.

So I had already found a project for me on the first day. A wonderfully entangled route with a start in a light overhang. I did not want to leave the place before I made this route in the top rope. Normally I prefer lead climbing, but for me this variant is sufficiently demanding on this relatively hard route. And it should take three days and several attempts to get it done! Pictures, videos, and narratives cannot describe what efforts, inner conflicts, and sentimentaries I experienced. All this is part of the sport. This is the essence of what makes a climber addicted ... which makes me addicted. Other climbers might smile at me, but I'm very proud of myself and nobody can take it from me. And whoever wins a fight against himself is allowed to do so. We grow to ourselves every day. This shows the climbing for me very impressive, simple and beautiful.

The rest of the time in the camp we spent with cooking, eating and of course many interesting entertainments. The clientele on site is a very special one. All combine a common passion. That makes the atmosphere natural. Thus for example at breakfast, you can see the one or the other partner yoga unit, at dinner in the common room pull up session or professional talking over routes, grips and technique. Although I am a bloody beginner, I never felt unfamiliar. A milieu that I will definitely miss. And I'm very happy to have found two really good friends, especially with Dave and Janosch. Oh, a third person belongs to it. A few days after our arrival Deniz (TR) came to us. We met her in Olympos and spent a lot of time with Geyikbayiri with wine and beer. Deniz speaks exclusively Turkish. However, thanks to digital translators, creative expressions and gestures, as well as a common decision to become friends, the language barrier was not too big. Interpersonal communication is based only on a fraction of language, which I could learn very clearly.

But after a while, I was called back. I wanted to go to the capital Ankara to look after the future destinations of my trip. Almost every Turk whom I had asked for inspiration had advised against Ankara. But there are almost all embassies in the gray metropolis. So I discovered one last rock band with the others and then made me head north. At first I hitchhiked by car on the back of a pick-up to Antalya, where an eight-hour bus trip was waiting for me overnight. The time to the departure I used to shoot pass photos and cure my tired muscles. When the bus left at midnight, I took the entertainment system until I arrived at the gigantic bus station of Ankara. I just cannot sleep in buses


From the bus station it went to the Iranian embassy. Yes, as the next country I chose Iran. If everything works so far. It’s complex and detailed. But will work somehow. To avoid expensive visa agencies I went first to the embassy and have act stupidly. Before another cigarette, I thought. Stupid idea to loom around the embassy ... with gigantic luggage. Of course, I was throughly interrogated and searched by the police armed with machine guns. Better is that. At least I could smoke. And to all the misfortune, the visit to the Embassy was also unsuccessful. I have to get an application number from an online agency... 20 days it takes approximately. Crap well, I'm not worried at first, maybe I can get the visa for India in the meantime ... I thought.

But first I went to my home the next day. Not far from the embassy, I slept at my new friends place, Nadire (TR), whom I met at Couchsurfing. Together with her I spent an ultracool time in Ankara. Although the city has so little to offer, ugly and dirty, with the right people at your side, the world is everywhere wonderful. The first days were Nadir's mother also with us. She visited her daughter and I was accepted as a new family member. So I have also literally tried Turkish home cooking. As a small thank you while they were cooking, I have musically entertained the women in the kitchen with guitarlele. Nadire lives vegan, which is very interesting and I learn a lot about the vegan cuisine. We respected our eating habits and they even served me pancakes (with egg!) for breakfast. I must admit that Nadire has fed me very well. I felt like a king. Thank you Nadire!

Nadire is 27 and archeologist in training. This alone gave us of course enough talking material for the coming days. In some ancient places of Anatolia, which I had already visited, she was active in excavations. The excursion to the Anatolian Museum was, of course, very well-suited. A huge museum with fascinating finds and stories from Asia Minor from the Stone Age to today. It is impressive how this region, as a link between Europe and Asia, is bursting with cultural treasures of different peoples and historical cultures. Above all, thanks to my professional accompaniment I have of course learned a lot again. In addition to the museum, the old castle, remains of the Roman Augustus temple and the Ottoman town center, the capital has not much to offer.

And this is also the reason Ataturk founded the capital of the Turkish republic here. On the one hand the relatively central situation in the state area, on the other the absence of bourgeoisie, money and religious power. For these things were all settled in the rich West, above all Istanbul. The capital of the peasant revolution should therefore also be placed in a peasant region. Actually, a good idea. But as in the post-war period in Germany, dry concrete buildings, dreary, practical architecture and gray, artificial city planning have been introduced. Today the gigantic purpose buildings of politics, institutions and the military are to be found in the city center. Currently, of course, paired with hundreds of heavily armed soldiers and policemen. On our way home, for example, we passed the main building of Erdogan's AK party and passed barriers, police buses and vehicles full of machine guns. You get used to it, but it is still crazy.

So it bcame normal to drink a coffee in Kizilay, the central place where the students are regularly brutally beaten by the executive. But for sure ... people live here day by day ... they must get a little bit of normality and return to quiet after "actions" relatively quickly. Nadire told me a lot about the dangers in interest groups or even random student gatherings. She is a student and has already been a victim of rigorous police interventions. I am reminded every day of the state of the country. Even if I publish funny travel pictures, everything has always a taste.

One attraction I definitely wanted to visit in Ankara: Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk. An absolutely gigantic building that reminds me of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Only that it is much bigger. Of course, Ataturk is THE, maybe only, hero of the nation. It is exploited and quoted both by proponents and opponents of the current policy. Every child knows his sayings, and on every corner his face is visible. So I wanted to see where the good man is buried. And yes, I saved him as a good man. Of course, he has aroused an armed conflict and under his leadership or under his command, thousands have died. However, his idea of the Turkish republic, his struggle for rights and, above all human rights, secularity, environmental awareness and cultivation, I find on the whole supportive.

Sad as he is today being misused by various interest groups. The visit to the mausoleum partly caused me a cold shudder. While you are trying to thank Ataturk, who is relatively neutral, and to convey information about him, it is terrifying and frightening as one person is so heroized. Maybe I am German, but I do not like it when a person is so glorified. No matter what that person did. That must necessarily lead to problems, I think. It leads to a monoperspectival view of things and helps easily to emotionalize people and thus also to radicalize if necessary. Not good! Apart from that, the Mausoleum is absolutely impressive and worth a visit!

So apart from the unfortunately everyday political problems and discussions, Nadire and I have really got off to a good start. I really enjoyed it to have a day just in front of a screen with series and snacks since a long time. This can be granted to you, even on journeys ... resp. right then! Among other things, we also spent one day with the shoemaker, as Nadire was a passionate tango dancer and let created a pair for her. And I took the opportunity to dress up for the winter. Yes, unfortunately the temperatures in the night fall below the freezing point. It is freaking cold to be honest.

But after a few peaceful days in Ankara, my working needs burned again. I wanted to do something. So I managed a volunteer in one of the most extraordinary landscapes in the world. I grabbed my whole life in my backpack again and drove with the bus to the east. Nadire gave me three gifts. A Nazar, a blue-eyed talisman, who is supposed to protect me from negative energy. A scarf that protects me from cold and a Tesbih (Misbaha), which protects me from boredom. Tesbih are originally Islamic prayer chains, but these are mainly used by men to nervous play in the hands.


I am curious about what to expect in Cappadocia. You also? The next report will tell you. Until then, Schilli


- My friend Berengere (F) taught me and a few Turkish girls 2-3 formations of partner acrobatics. Who would have thought that I would ever try?

- I save the paragraph to "Maximum Banana" ... is difficult to describe. Indescribable? A unique one!

- In our bungalow we had the honorable visit of a snake. Traveling has reached the next level!

- Nadire and her mum have partly prepared the meal for hours (for example wrapping wine leaves). Fascinating and delicious!

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