The Eastern Express, which travels from Ankara to Kars, has been a popular way to travel since the start of winter. Although the snow began to melt down, the scenic route of the train continues to mesmerize the travelers.
The increasing popularity of the train has finally caught the attention of international tourists who want to travel through Anatolia and see the rarely unseen on travel magazines.
The Eastern Express was once the main way to travel to and from Kars, Erzurum, Ankara and even Istanbul, but in time it fell into oblivion. However, now, the train has made a splash on social media and it is almost impossible to find empty seats.
International tourists who want to have a complete Anatolia experience hop on the train and travel from Ankara to Kars through Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum.
Tourists mainly from the U.K., France, Germany and Iraq are having fun during the 25 hour-long trip. While some listen to the music and enjoy the scenic route, some make new friends and play games throughout their travels.
Stephen Hargrave from the U.K., who heard about the famous Eastern Express, is one of the many tourists that enjoy the trip to the Kars. The Londoner first flew to Ankara, the capital, and got his ticket for the next train.
Speaking to the press, Hargrave said he came to Turkey a year before, but preferred to travel through Turkey's coasts. "When I first came to Turkey, I mainly spent time in İzmir, the Aegean province in the west. However, the Turkey I experienced then and the Turkey I am experiencing now are completely different. I love traveling through Turkey," Hargrave said.
"During this trip, I get to see the natural wonders of Anatolia. I cannot wait to arrive at Kars and explore the city. I will recommend this trip to all of my friends. It is easy to travel through the tourist attractions in a country, but this is something unexpected. Kars is a city with an enormous history. I am happy to do this trip."
Lale Hamleci of Turkish descent living in London, said she has been dreaming of going to Kars by the Eastern Express.
"I have been seeing the Eastern Express trips online and on the news for so long. I was so intrigued that I bought the tickets as soon as I could. Turkey is a beautiful country and it is an honor to be a part of this extraordinary trip.
The Eastern Express sets off from the Ankara Train Station every day for Kars via provinces such as Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum and arrives at its destination in 24 hours and 30 minutes. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 18, 271,120 people took the train from Ankara to Kars. The Eastern Express features seated coaches, couchette coach and sleeping coaches with toilets, a minibar and a table.