Aǧri – Doǧubayazit

Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat

Under constant headwind and some more downpours later we arrived in Doǧubayazit, the last Turkish town before the border-crossing to Iran with a spectacular view on the 5137m high Mount Ararat.

Ishak Pasha Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace

Since we still had a couple of days left before our planned entry into Iran, we took the opportunity to visit the ancient and stunningly beautiful Ishak Paşa Palast, situated a few kilometers up in the mountains behind the city. On the way to the city center to catch a domuş (=minibus) that would bring us up, a van with a young couple stopped to give us a lift. It turned out that Anna is originally from Poland and her husband Saffet is a Kurdish nomad from this area and they were organizing guided tours to Mount Ararat (www.ararattours.com)

One piece Column
One piece Column

Unfortunately they couldn’t give us a tour to Mount Ararat’s peak (you wait two month for the permit to go up), but the brought us all the way up to the palest and gave us a comprehensive tour full of witty anecdotes about the former court life.

Ararattrip.com Magic couple
Ararat tour guides

In gratitude for the spontaneous tour we wanted to invite them for lunch but instead we ended up having an hilarious BBQ pick nick at a small creek nearby. Thanks a lot to both of you for this great day!

 

Cathedral
Ruins of Ani

They also gave us the tip that we must not miss to visit the ruins of Ani, the former capital of the Armenian Empire but now abandoned since 300 years. So we took a bus the next day directions north close to the Armenian border and were really not disappointed: Ani exudes the creepy ambiance of a ghost town surrounded by the remote landscape of the rolling Turkish steppe, the tension of the adjacent contested border and the heavy weight of a long and tragic history.

Barbe au cul
Barbe au cul

Back in our hotel we met 3 young, crazy students from the UK: Fred, Max and William. They were on their way back from Japan with a Honda car they had bought there and had made the whole way through Russia and East Europe down to Turkey. We spent a great evening together (with our first beers since a while) and shared through funny road trip stories about the crazy Turkish style of driving and much more. The next day they took us in their Japanese car back to Doǧubayazit where we once again ended up around a nice campfire roasting chicken wings with the imposing Ishak Paşa Palast towering up above us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *