We decided to take the old highway rather than a motorway for the trip to Gaziantep to allow us to call in to some small towns along the way. The road was brilliant and passed through lots of farmland and orchards although generally the land did look very dry.
For the second time we crossed the Euphrates but took this opportunity to actually reach the water in the town of Birecik. We hoped to 'stick our toes in' but found the water very smelly and dirty. Further out it looked gorgeous so we were disappointed.
We had much better luck when we stopped for a coffee and were surprised when a Syrian made an excellent brew. Syrian and Iranian baristas, in Turkey, making good cappuccinos ....fantastic!
Our luck continued later when we were required to stop at a security check point. After producing our passports we were quickly welcomed and then farewelled with big smiles from the armed guards. All other drivers had looks of astonishment as they watched us cruise away.
We felt very special.
Our hotel in Gaziantep was more western than eastern so the dinner menu was easily understood and low and behold, they had alcohol. The God's from Nemrut were smiling on us.
The town was a big one but we did drive around to explore what we felt were interesting places. One area had quite a number of ancient cave dwellings carved into a cliff face and was very well cared for. Other areas were quite the opposite with massive numbers of multi storied houses half demolished. Narrow alleys winding through the mess would not be fun places to be in, especially at night.