FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Steam in the Taurus mountains

Posted in Çiftehan, Turkey, Ulukişla by folkestonejack on September 7, 2015

Our arrival in Ulukişla put us firmly onto the footprint of the old Berlin-Baghdad Railway and there were plenty of remnants still in situ to remind of this.

TCDD 56 548 on the line between Ulukişla and Çiftehan

TCDD 56 548 on the line between Ulukişla and Çiftehan

The section of the line between Ulukişla and our base at Çiftehan this afternoon opened on 21st December 1912 and brought the Baghdad railway tantalisingly close to completion. However, at the outbreak of war in 1914 the significant challenges of the Taurus and Amanus mountains remained.

We travelled on the line as far as Gümüş then transferred to our coach for the final section as it is far easier to get to photospots from the road. One spot was quite literally on the roadside whilst another involved a tricky climb up a steep slope with a steady flow of moving rocks to contend with. However difficult the climb it was so worthwhile as the view from up top was terrific – it’s one of the classic shots of the line.

A classic shot in the Taurus mountains

A classic shot in the Taurus mountains

Up to now we have seen blue skies everywhere so we were all slightly surprised to see mist hanging over Çiftehan when we finally arrived. I hope this doesn’t spell bad news for the days ahead!

Our base for the remainder of our time in the mountains is the Çiftehan Termal Otel, specialising in thermal and spa treatments. I suspect we make rather odd guests wandering in with our clothes coated in the dust of the lineside whilst the other guests wander around in flip-flops and towels!

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