|Day 9 September 8, 2010
Table of content for Eastern Turkey Turkey
Wednesday Erzurum Igdir Dogubeyazit Mount Ararat
Submitted by Owen Clark
As we were leaving Erzurum, we saw thousands of bread on
the street. The baker told us that because of the 3-day holiday today, they
were going to bake 10,000 breads today. The end of the month of
Ramadan is celebrated by a 3-day holiday which the Turkish people call
Coban Dede Bridge
The bridge was under reconstruction. The sultan who had this bridge built in 1255 had the architect burry one of her pearl ear rings in the foundation of the bridge. We were wondering if the ear ring was found by the restorers!!
Since the bridge was under construction the herds of sheep and cows were crossing the river walking.
The shepherds were riding on their horses and donkeys.
Picnic Lunch by a river facing a village buried in the mountain side with poplar trees around. Meli had a white table cloth and a little vase for center piece. the group is enjoying these picnics. We think they are great way of using time for more photography. Our driver Cengiz decorated the bus with the dry flowers that he picked from along the road. He is a wonderful driver. He is very much part of the group.
When we had time from taking photographs, Meli asked us to tell a travel story. Every one had wonderful stories about their travel experiences. Victoria shared with us how in China she bought a tour to see the Great Wall and she ended in a miniature park where the Great Wall and the terra cotta soldiers of Xian were imitated. Susan's story was about her grand son who on her first camping trip, thought her grand ma was a bear. The magic moment for Doris in her travels was the trip she took to her home land, China with her family. Barbara's story was about her first trip to Europe tracing the steps of her father's land in Germany. Owen made us laugh when he told his teen age hood story about a dance. He got lad's and lady's bathroom mixed up. We took a detour to get closer to the salt mines. There were huge caves carved out of the side of the mountain. It looked like if it rained enough the whole mountain will melt into a salt pile.
We started climbing the ramp of Mount Ararat. We were all trying to see if we could make a bath room stop. Meli suggested that the military base would be the only place we could find a bath room.. the young soldiers were shocked to hear Meli asking them if we could use the toilettes. They had to call their commander to see if this would be OK. We were kindly given permission and escorted to the bathroom. We had a chat with the young soldiers. One of them was going to school in San Francisco .
On the lava fields of Mount Ararat we saw a black tent. Meli was very excited to see the tent. She said that because of the PKK activities in this area until couple of years ago this hill side was not considered safe for the nomads, Buy obviously now the nomads could move their "homes" as they wished. The dog must have trusted our looks. He did not bother to come and check on us. The nomad lady was preparing winter cheese for her family.
When we arrived at the best spot where we could see Mount Ararat, we saw that the mountain was surrounded with a sheet of cloud and especially the photographers in the group were disappointed. Meli assured us that the clouds will be lifted if we had the patience to wait. We then all found some thing to do while waiting for Mount Ararat to decide to show us her full height. Jennifer made friends with a young boy and she was given his bracelet. The two Barbaras chose to sit together and chat.
It seemed like the view of the
mountain changed every time we looked at her. She was majestic.
Ararat elevation 5135 meters cleared for photo shots