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Monday, October 24, 2011 | Baton change at Baku

Recent events around the world have been turbulent to say the least, yet here I am calmly boarding the plane from Frankfurt to Turkey to continue the second half of the Editourmobil expedition to the Brau Beviale exhibition. Beneath the plane, the whole of the Balkans and Turkey is gradually unfurling. In the space of a few hours, I've seen from above almost all the places my Editourmobil has spent the last two weeks visiting.

Meanwhile Kay’s adventures continue. He has driven as far as Baku and from there, he’s taken a flight to India. En route, his luggage is lost. Every traveller’s worst nightmare. But how does losing two items of luggage compare with some of the real horrors going on at present? This week has seen the killing or murder of Gaddafi.

The human horror of events in Libya seems to be reaching the endgame. And what of the economic horror that awaits us Europeans, with politicians calling for drastic measures to cut Greek debt. And now, just yesterday we learn of the horrific death toll in the Turkish earthquake, magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale, which occurred barely 100 kilometres east of where our Editourmobil is parked near the border with Iran. Fortunately I was able to join our team without mishap, and also meet Mr Murat Kökoglu Kötsan - my first appointment in Gaziantep. Both are in good shape.

The last time I was in Turkey, it was only a brief stopover. I was on my way to Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine about a year ago. Now I shall have the opportunity to experience to the full the delights of Turkey. For around 100 hours I shall be captain of the good ship Editourmobil, passing through endless landscapes and teeming cities, and nearly 20 exciting appointments await me as we make our way to the Brau Beviale in Nuremberg.

The Editourmobil’s journey from Baku to Gaziantep is in the capable hands of our commercial director Rolf. As usual our schedule is very tight, and for the first two days, I can’t get to the Editourmobil in time. I’ll catch up eventually.