Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mardin! (as promised)

Can we put our finger on what makes us love Mardin so? Is it the gorgeous setting on the side of a mountain with the dramatic scenery of patchwork plains spread out before us? Is it the local arts and crafts that are still practiced with masterful skill in the shops and bazaars everyday? Or is it the exotic honey-coloured stone buildings, intricately carved into flowers and geometric designs?

Mardin bazaar, where you can buy anything from a wedding dress to live chickens!

Obviously we love Mardin. An ancient, multi-ethnic, busy town that makes you feel you’ve stepped back in time. Donkeys click-clack through the streets, mosques with unique little pomegranate tops and people who still welcome visitors with a heartfelt “Hosgeldiniz!”

Ablutions before prayers.

Mardin minaret and plateau of farmland that stretches all the way to Syria.

Olive oil soap in the bazaar carved in the style of local mosques.

Time spent wandering the streets and bazaars of this town is well spent. Wood and metal workers create unique little pieces in tiny little workshops, inviting you in for tea and showing you their wares.
Mosques with ornate Syrian-style minarets and ribbed domes litter the hillside. In the evening when the temperature cools, everyone comes outdoors to socialize and children fly kites high above the town. It’s rumored the Garden of Eden may have been located near here, and we believe it!
Above: View from (and of) our hotel, a 500-year old caravansary!
Below: More ablutions...

1 comment: