Day 11  September 10, 2010                                 Day 12  Table of content for Eastern Turkey Turkey tour Journal
Friday  Van Akdamar
Submitted by  Barbara Cutshaw

We stopped along the way at the Selcuk cemetery.
We stopped to see the white water made by the soda in the water. We saw lots of birds. We had our driver honk the horn so the birds flew for the keen photographers. While we were waiting for our lunch, an Iranian family was taking pictures of us.  she said that she  and her family were on a holiday and that she could wear her make up and  jeans which she would not  be allowed to wear in Iran. and her husband said woman can wear what they want but they can not be naked like Meli who was wearing a summer dress.


After Ken and Meli had a backgammon game, we had an excellent fish lunch with local fish from the lake. After lunch we took the boat ride to the island of Akdamar.

We went around the island saw more birds and docked in the back of the island. We climbed up the hill under the almond trees and the first site of the church was stunning with the images of the old testament, telling stories about Adam and Eve and David and Goliath. In the church, the images of Jesus looked young with dark black beard.

We went to see the exquisite Armenian church from 915 AD. All the beautiful writing and carvings of the biblical images made this church very unique. I liked the writing of the people with their prayers and images of crosses carved on the wall out side the church.

Meli pointed out to the image of the whale who was about to swallow Johanna. the "big fish was illustrated with ears, and whiskers. she said what you draw can be reflective of your experiences based on your culture, traditions and the geographic location. Adam lying under the tree where he had "sinned" also was an interesting interpretation.

Then off to playing/swimming in the water. that water had polished all of my toe rings and  my jewelry. We were again joined by the Iranian family. I think she even put her toes up there for pictures. The water was slimy. It did feel like we could do our laundry in the water with out using detergent,  The boat ride back to the main land was beautiful. the sun was now lower and the soft light on the mountains was beautiful.


Then we stopped at the largest Kilim place of Turkey.  A group of young Kurdish folk dancers danced and showed us examples of their traditional folk dance  to the music of drum and zurna. We were served cookies and tea. We had also the good wine. They explained about the different kilims and carpets was very colorful and interesting. Some of the tour members could not resist the temptation of the beautiful hand crafts which are obviously are no longer being made as much as they did even 10 years ago. Most of us left the establishment with a beautiful kilim or carpet that will certainly make a difference in our homes and may be even in our lives.Then I finally got to see my Van Cat with kittens. however the kittens were not very white as Van cats are suppose to be.  Then we returned to the hotel. there was a circumcision festivities around the pool including fireworks.

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