Train to Istanbul


I was on my way to Istanbul from Ankara, on a high speed train, after traveling across western Turkey, covering eight cities and over 3000km. Sitting at the window seat, I looked outside. The Sun was about to set behind the mountains and the sky looked like a beautiful canvas of orange and pink. Far away, I could see remnants of a castle on a hill top; it would probably have been used as a frontier outpost at some time in history. However, today there were no human settlements there. It was a lonely and isolated castle on top of a hill, far from any urban settlement

At that moment, I wished for the train to slow down or even stop. It was a beautiful place that needed to be experienced slowly and not rushed through on the fastest train in modern Turkey.  As our train entered the next valley the Sun totally disappeared behind towering mountains. It got dark outside and soon all I could see in the window was my own reflection. The beautiful valley and the abandoned hill top castle were all in the past now, just like the people that inhabited them once. Hundreds of years stood between us, yet I could imagine how they had lived, traveled, fought and died there. Maybe hundreds of years later a man making the same journey as me today would think back at how we lived, traveled and died in the 21st century. Just like me, he would be ignorant to think of his day and age to be the most advanced stage of human civilization. Perhaps the men who once inhabited that hill top castle thought the same as well. Separated by centuries, all three of us will share one similarity: we will all be wrong.

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