Diyarbakir

Diyarbakır is located on a basalt plateau on the right bank of the Tigris surrounded by a high and mainly intact 5 km long city wall. Of course today the city with 1,7 million Kurds spills out and most of the modern town lies outside this wall. We managed to find a good parking for …

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Mardin

Old Mardin lies beautiful on the slope of a rocky hill just 20 km north of the Syrian border. Most buildings are made of the beige coloured limestone rock which has been mined for centuries in quarries around the area. As the old town is under UNESCO World Heritage protection, no new constructions are allowed. …

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Tur Abdin

We went to explore the small villages of Tur Abdin – the “Mountain of the Servants of God”, with its many monasteries but we also came past Roman Anastasiopolis. The region is very dry, as any water quickly disappears into the lime stone and the vegetation is sparse. From Mydiat we had quickly reached the …

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Stop @ Midyat

After making our way back from old Hasankeyf, we reached the region of Tur Abdin at the Syrian border with nearly 70 Syriac Orthodox monasteries, the earliest surviving Christian buildings dating from the 6th century. We first came past the monastery of Mor Jakup and then reached the town of Midyat. The monastery founded by …

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The Volcano

From Tatvan a good road leads up to the big crater of a volcano, and we went to explore it a bit. But we also found an incredible cemetery a little bit further north. The road took us up the mountain, past a chairlift for skiing in winter and to the rim at about 2500 …

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Lake Van

From Doğubeyazıt we drove to Lake Van, passing incredible lava formations, a waterfall and an old bridge before we reached the lake. We visited Van with its fortress and museum before we accidentally joined the Black Friday shopping. The next day the sun was out and we took the ferry to visit an incredible Armenian …

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Ishak Pasa Sarayi

On the way to Doğubeyazıt we had some incredible mountain views, but none of Mount Ararat. Apart from that mountain, the most important sight in this area is the Ishak Pasa Sarayi, one of few surviving historical Turkish palaces. We are now in Turkish Kurdistan, and regularly we have to pass military controls along the …

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The city of Ani

From Hopa/Turkey, at the coast of the Black Sea, we drove inland along reservoirs and through valleys, until we traversed a pass at 2,600 metres, before we reached a high plain where Ani, the Medieval capital of the Armenia Kingdom, lies directly at the border to Armenia. The city, which experienced its golden age during …

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