It's a long and winding road that leads to...the top of Mt Nemrut where we went to see these 6 foot tall heads (about 10 of them) from the tops of statues that were discovered about 60 years ago after being buried for some 2000 years. They are on top of 7000 foot hıgh Mt Nemrut which we drove up most of the way then walked the rest at sunset yesterday ın Kahta. Today we drove to ShanliUrfa where we will spend the night before driving tp the Syrian border tomorrow morning. We will walk across the border to meet our Syrian guide who will show us around Syria for the next week before we cross into Jordan. But we just returned from walking around the beautiful old cıty, large mosque and souk (market) ın ShanliUrfa. As we have headed east in Turkey there have been less tourists, the people have become more conservative (here ALL the women wear Chadors or scarves) and food has become less expensive. On the way we crossed over the famous Euphrates River which we walked across to absorb the tremendous history that dates back to the beginnıngs of civilization. So once we enter Syria tomorrow we don't know what the internet situation will be like--we have to just wait and see. We have gotten used to the 5 times daily call to prayer from the mosques, but Syria is quite a bit more conservative than Turkey as it is an Arab Moslem country, our first. Barbara has to keep her shoulders and knees covered and must keep a scarf handy in order to enter certain places. İ, on the other hand, can wear anything İ want. Just kidding!
Goodbye Turkey, we knew you when... We are sad to leave this exciting and endlessly fascinating country, so let me say a few words about the food. Ubiquitous are: apple tea--drunk by the men as they sit and play their games of backgammon or cards or checkers all day and by just about everyone else everywhere unless they are drinking that rich, dark brew called Turkish coffee (I lıke it but not Barbara). Also ubiquitous are baklava of all shapes, flavors and sizes topped wıth lots of ground pistachios, all sorts of puddings (mmmmmm!) and a strange ice cream called dundurma that ıs thick and stretchy. We have consumed lots of sandwiches of chicken and lamb, on both baguettes and tortilla type bread but not as much yogurt as we expected as it is available all over in a liquid salty drink form, but not sweet (we both liked this). Yogurt is available in supermarkets in large containers, as it is used in cookıng, but not convenient for us.
İ have not mentioned the weather, but suffice it to say that we have seen nary a cloud for two weeks and the temperatures have been in the eighties and sometimes nineties during the day wıth a breeze most of the time and sixties and seventies at night--in other words just perfect. Our hotels have been quite good with air conditioning most days, good hot showers and comfortable beds.
Surely I have left out many foods, events, incidents and people that crossed our paths during the past two weeks, but come on now, İ can' remember everything.
Next entry will be from Syria where the greeting will be Salaam Aleıkum.