Friday, October 16, 2009

Heading East

“Two girls traveling alone through south-east Turkey in the dead of summer? Are you mad?”
My sister and I had discussed and dreamed on this trip for years. “Someday”, we’d say, and today “someday” had arrived.
Starting in Sanliurfa, and moving on to Diyarbakir, Mardin and Gaziantep, and taking a few side trips to Harran, Mount Nemrut and the doomed village of Hasankeyf along the way, we braced ourselves for soaring temperatures, pesky children and wandering hands.
Of course we’d been warned. Dangerous, backwards and sizzling hot were just a few of the adjectives we’d heard to describe the area, but none-the-less, we threw some clothes and cash into our backpacks, gathered up our resolve and headed east to see if this area could live up to our curiosity.
This is a tiny slice of what we found.

On the road to Diyarbakir, storm approaching.

The two pictures above were taken from my seat on the public bus. Turks and foreigners alike were horrified to learn that we chose to travel by bus. We loved it. Each city we chose was no longer than two hours from the other, and the system was efficient and quick.

The boy in the top photo is a kind of "bus steward", he's serving up coffee and tea.

Summer Koran lessons in Sanliurfa.

The beehive houses of Harran, outside Saliurfa.

Adorable boy who ran for change in 40 degree heat.
Love that smile!

Prayers in Mardin.

The strangest thing we saw on our trip.
Men hanging out in a barbershop feeding and watching their pigeons.
You know, as you do.

The Han in Diyarbakir.
A lovely place to place to hang out and people watch.

Meet Banu, a lovely woman who found us on the street outside her house in Gaziantep.
She took us in, made us tea, and fed us fruit. Then gave my Turkish skills a real workout!
On the table are her daughter's wedding pictures.
Just one person of many who greeted us with such warmth and hospitality, I was both humbled and touched.

Scenery around Mount Nemrut.
I can't say anything to describe how gorgeous it was, so here's an attempt in photos!

Below, our shadows on Nemrut in the sunrise.
These pictures don't show how cold it was or how strong the wind was!

I have purposely left two places out, Hasenkeyf and Mardin. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Oh there you are. Great pics, interesting trip!