The Rising Road

Jo Magpie, and her husband, Hrach, hitchhike across Europe.

There are 31 posts in The Rising Road.

How the Road Rose Up to Meet Us

Introducing Jo Magpie, the latest addition to the Wand'rly family of bloggers. The Rising Road is all about hitchhiking around Europe and beyond... [read it!]

a married couple

The Backstreets of Beyoglu

Jo Magpie extols a day in the life, from Istanbul. [read it!]

A Very Yerevan Birthday

Vodka, the Vernissage Market, and failing recollections of Santa Clause. [read it!]

Hitchhiking Armenia in Winter

“That bus is free”, Hrach tells me, pointing towards a rusting orange Soviet minibus. We’re waiting at the bus stop outside the Opera in Yerevan city centre, surrounded by our luggage. I’m armed with four zhingali, a bottle of tan (salted yoghurt drink) and some smoked cheese sticks for the journey. I look in the [read it!]

Armenia, Alaverdi, hitchhiking

Hitchhiking Georgia with Giorgis

Giorgi seems bored with his job. He tells us about his children, flips through pictures on his phone, showing us one daughter, then the other, at school, at home, in the park… He glances at the road occasionally, but seems disappointed to find it still there, still a highway, going straight ahead. [read it!]

a hitchhiker wanders through an amusement park

The Coldest Corner of Anatolia

Mehmet slams on his brakes as soon as he sees us huddled in the snowy blizzard. He’s as astonished to find us here, miles from anywhere in the coldest corner of Anatolia, as our last lift was when we told him to stop the car. He had dropped us, astonished, by the place the road [read it!]

Armenia, Turkey, Anatolia, Kars, Ani, travel, adventure, ruins

The Other Side of Ararat

“I’m Sorry!” I tell the driver, “We’re hitchhiking. We don’t want a dolmuş.” “Ok, come, no problem!” he says, hoisting our bags onto the roof. “Teşekkür ederim!” we say, climbing in and grinning at the bus full of passengers, who murmur greetings to us. I slide past the legs and bags, past a man holding [read it!]

Ararat, Turkey, Armenia, hitchhiking, roads, wandering, journey

The Road to Van

“There is no work here,” he says. “At school, we learn only Turkish. No Kurdish.” It's a story we will hear over and over again on this journey, now we're in the part of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. The Kurdish language was banned by the state until very recently. Town names were changed and Turkifised. Kurdish names were banned for children. It was illegal to speak Kurdish at school, or to print books in the language. It was a very successful campaign, most adults today either do not remember, or never learned the language. [read it!]

Turkey, Kurdistan, travel, hitchhiking, Ararat, mountain, adventure

Armenian Ruins and Breakfast in Van

“Let’s go that way,” Hrach says suddenly. This is my first time in Van, one of the biggest cities in the area of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. Van is a university city, very modern, with a bustling air of people getting things done. We head down a side street and soon come across a [read it!]

Van, breakfast, food, travel, Kurdistan, Van Kahvantı

The City with Many Names

Even as a Kurdish city, Diyarbakır is unique. Kurdish separatist movements have always been strong here and the Turkish police recently instated a curfew on the city in order to suppress a potential uprising – in response to closing the border to Kurdish-Syrian refugees. We hitchhiked to the city after a long cold wait on the south bank of Lake Van, with Recep, an enthusiastic Kurdish historian, who grew up in Istanbul but is originally from Kars. [read it!]

Diyarbakır, Surp Giragos, Turkey, Anatolia, travel, adventure, Armenia, history, genocide

Hitchhiking to a War Zone

Jo and Hrach hitchhike into the war between Kurdish fighters and ISIS. [read it!]

Kobane, Kurdistan, Syria, Turkey, war, refugees, volunteer, crisis, Mahser

Finding the Sun

Generous truck drivers and the Super Mario police as experiences on the road change very much for Jo and Hrach after leaving a war zone. [read it!]

Turkey, travel, Anatolia, hitchhiking, wild camping, adventure

Bananas, Ruins and a Campervan

We wind around mountain roads, truck by truck, car by car. One driver is particularly speedy, knocking us against the side of the car as he swerves round bend after bend. We overtake a camper van with bikes strapped to its rear, and gape as it slides from view in the back window. It’s been [read it!]

a campervan in Anamurium, Anamur, Turkey

The Hitchwiki Hackathon House

Jo Magpie hitches to Antalya in search of other hitchhikers, and shares the resources for their fellow thumbers being created. [read it!]

Antalya, Turkey, travel, historic

Hitchhiking Memory Lane

My friend Lisa and I lived in a small chalet in Kaş (“Kash”), the tiny holiday town at the southernmost tip of South-West Turkey, for a few weeks in the spring of 2011. Now Hrach and I are hitchhiking in that area, it feels a bit like coming home. Four years earlier, Lisa and I [read it!]

Turkey, camping, travel, adventure, Kaş, Can Mocamp