Sanliurfa

Traveling from Nemurt(Kahta) had to change buses at Adiyaman, the total journey took about 3-4 hours,and about 20TL. Was picked up at the otogar by the owner of Lizbon GH,Mr.Aziz. He was quite an entertaining man, and it was quite amusing to listen to his views on many people(europeans,kurds,turks). The centre of the Urfa city was very atmospheric,chaotic, noisy, small lanes and streets..plenty of “burqas” or veils, unlike any other part of Turkey. It looked like an islamic version of Indian small towns,bu cleaner. The guest house was pretty good,there was no one in the dorm,so I had the whole place for myself,plus there was a good courtyard. Mr.Aziz helped me out a little with moving about,he showed me around the old city, the Golbasi and restaurants around looked pretty good. Loved the mosque too. The restaurants up the way to the fort looked like a great way to spend one’s evening. Golbasi was wonderfully lit up at night,and the whole Golbasi area was teeming with turkish tourists, it was quite a vibrant atmosphere. Did a little shopping too,bought pomegranate extract, sumac and a pack of Urfa pepper.

Dinner was at the Lizbon GH, it was great to have Turkish home cooked vegetarian food, I dont know what I would have eaten in Urfa otherwise. And a meal at the GH cost me just 5TL. Had a tomato-pepper-aubergine dish with whole wheat unleavened bread..guess it’s only the kurds who have whole wheat bread.

Day 14: Had planned to go to Halfeti in the morning, but then I woke up late, and I realizedI felt too lethargic to go all the way to the otogar, get a bus,change a bus, haggle for the boat..a long day. So I instantly cancelled the plan to go to Halfeti, this was the first time in 15 days I felt too tired to travel, and plus the thought of changing buses too was intimidating. So I decided to do pretty much nothing,just sat in the courtyard of my guest house,read a book for sometime. But then I had to do something, right? Afterall I came all the way to Urfa, to the eastern end of the country. So I set off to Harran with Mr.Aziz, found it much hassle free to be driven point to point, rather than looking for buses. Reached Harran, was more than impressed with the ancient university tower. Had it not been for the university tower, I would have disliked Harran, because it was so much like the dusty, poor owns in desert regions of India,just an islamicized version, infact I do find such towns in India quite “atmospheric”, but here in Turkey they seemed pretty drab, I didn’t really want to see something I could see back home. Nevertheless, not a bad trip at all, paid 80 TL(a little steep, but worth avoiding hassle), what is normal on the 1st day becomes a hassle by the 15th day. I realized that you need to rest a little once in a while,while traveling, that too after 15 days. Came back, had lunch, spiced bulgur with aubergines, slept a lot in the afternoon.

Evening was spent at the Yildiz hamami, 25 TL for a complete scrub and massage treatment. The hamam itself was very atmospheric, plenty of marble beds, marble basins and marble taps and marble flooring. The treatment was pretty good, had a great chat with some locals at the hamam, although language was bit of a problem.

Dinner was again at the Guest house, spiced bakes pottoes and bulgur-yogurt soup. And it rained a lot that night,and it was in this rain that I lost my way in by lanes of Urfa. Couldn’t find my way back!!and it was so scary, there were no people on the roads at all..but I eventually found my way back to the guesthouse.

Next day was back to Istanbul by a Pegasus flight booked for a mere 63TL !!

Balikigol.

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Ruins of Harran.

Ruins of Harran.

University Tower of Harran.

University Tower of Harran.

Kurdish dinner at a homestay, shakshuka and bulgur soup.

Kurdish dinner at a homestay, shakshuka and bulgur soup.

Bulgur with aubergine at Lizbon Guest House.

Bulgur with aubergine at Lizbon Guest House.

A brief summary of my Trip to Turkey.
Being Vegetarian in Turkey
4 Days in Istanbul.
Selcuk and Ephesus.
Priene-Miletus-Didyma
Afrodisias:The Best Graeco Roman Ruins
4 Days in Cappadocia.
Gaziantep
Nemrut
Sanliurfa

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