Tristan is a freelance travel writer from UK. He has visited over 60 countries and written about 20 of them for the likes of the Guardian, the Independent and the Sunday Times Travel Magazine. His story was published in Brownbook with amazing photos by Ayla.
The best way to meet fellow guests is aboard the dining car at lunch. This is the train’s entertainment epicentre – and the most hopping spot in Anatolia, so it would seem. As air travel between Ankara and Tehran is just three hours, the Trans Asia Express passenger list is a rare mix.
Expect Iranian families laden with shopping bags from Istanbul’s ancient bazaars and modern malls. Add small groups of Turkish students riding this discount form of public transport home. Offbeat European travellers are often present. Sometimes it’s a young family on a cultural voyage they’ll never forget. Or an old couple retracing a rail route to India they took when the Shah sat on the Persian throne.
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Cover photo: Ayla