Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 1 comment

Mardin: Sneak Peek

I've been home from Mardin for almost two full days, and I've got a notebook full of scribbles that are dying to be turned into stories while the memories are fresh. But, alas, between catching up on all the sleep I skipped by getting up early to scribble those scribbles, doing mountains of laundry, hitting up the pazar and restocking the fridge, surprise guests who stay half the day, and all the other "catch-up" stuff that must be attended to when one returns from a trip, I have yet to be able to sit down and really write. Tomorrow. Tomorrow!

But, for now, here's a visual sneak peek at what the weekend looked like....

Looking out over the Mesopotamian Plain to Syria

Mardin: City of Arches and Alleys

"Mirra" - the Arabic coffee served in Mardin - is twice as strong as Turkish coffee, and seriously bitter. But it must be tried. :)

Courtyard of our hotel the first night. It used to be a kervansarayi - a lodging place along the Silk Road where stinky camels and stinky men could rest for the night.

The town of Hasankeyf is a historical and natural wonder, full of cave houses, a stone fortress, and a colourful cast of locals. It is set to be flooded when the government completes its plan for a hydroelectric dam, but there is a huge effort going on in an attempt to save the town and preserve its history.

The town of Midyat

One of the goals of our trip was getting to tour the house where Sila, a Turkish TV show, was filmed. My roommate had a slight crush on the main character and was very excited to tell us who lived in all the various rooms and where they ate breakfast.... :)

While we were at the house, a folk dancing group was filming a music video so we spied on them for awhile. They had to keep reshooting this bit cuz the handkerchief kept landing on the singer's face!

Our second night was spent in the Mor Abrohom monastery just outside of Midyat.

Driving into the village of Aynwardo was like going back to the Middle Ages...

Mor Gabriel is a Syrian Orthodox monastery that was built in 397, and it is the seat of one of Turkey's four bishops.

It took us some time to win our way into the hearts of the priest and nun caring for the church in the village of Zaz, but once the "doors of favour" opened up (good story to follow) they were happy to show us the ancient underground cave churches and offer us tea and stories.

We spent our third night in the Deyrul Zafaran monastery, which was by far my favourite of the ones we visited. It is one of the oldest continually operating monasteries in the world. Their hospitality was amazing - not to mention their saffron-cinnamon tea! We got to sit down with the bishop for some very informative and encouraging conversation.

Tomorrow I will (inshallah) finally get down to the business of organizing my notes and starting on some stories - one of the first of which will be titled "How I Avoided Accidental Marriage in Mesopotamia." Intrigued?


absolutely gorgeous pictures!!!