25 Temmuz 2018 Çarşamba

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Finally I will write some articles about Turkey again. I was planning to write about southern Turkey, but for now I will postpone it and will share the notes of our recent trip to the Eastern Anatolia.

This year, I and my family decided to visit the eastern part of Turkey. As we were travailing with our baby, we would like to choose some quiet cities to visit. At the end we visited 3 cities in 5 days: Van, Ağrı and Erzurum. I will divide my notes of in three articles, one for each city. So, our first stop is Van.

We flew from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the Van Ferit Melen Airport; the flight lasts about 2 hours. During the landing if you look at the window, you will see astonishing landscapes.

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Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Akdamar Island
As we wanted to visit the region by ourselves, we rented a car from a company called Central. It was the only company that I could find for renting a car in Van and leaving it in Erzurum.

We spent 2 nights and 3 days in Van and stayed in Van Double Tree Hotel. It was a nice option for us for spacious rooms, parking option and nice lake view.

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Mount Süphan view from the hotel
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

The history of Van goes back to old ages; it has been always a large city and initially it has been the capital of the kingdom of Urartu in the 9th century BC. In this period the city was called Tushpa.

The population of Van is around 1 million and the city is on 1730m above sea level. Lake Van is the major lake of Turkey and in mid-90s it was so popular for its monster. Lake Van Monster (in Turkish; Van Gölü Canavari) was a lake monster like Loch Ness Monster and his history goes back far more than 90s. It was already reported in some newspapers in 1889 and also there were some legends about it in the Armenian chronicles written in around mid-400s. Anyways, today we know that there is no real monster in Lake Van, but if you want you can eat pearl mullet, it is an endemic fish who lives in the lake basin.

When we arrived in Van, it was already late for visiting somewhere, so we only went to the city center for eating and looking a little bit around.
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Second day, for breakfast we went to a breakfast restaurant in the coast of the lake. Van is well-known for its breakfast and there are many Van’s breakfast restaurants around Turkey. During this tapas style breakfast you can eat about 20 different foods.

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
You can also taste Ayranaşı; it is a traditional soup of region made with yogurt, bulgur and some herbs.
After our energetic breakfast we went to the pier to take a boat for Akdamar Island (Turkish: Akdamar Adası. Armenian: Aghtamar or Akhtamar). For going to the island there are two piers; one is in the center of Gevaş district, the other is a little bit farther than Gevaş. We chose the second one because it was more close to Akdamar. I could not find a specific name for the piers, so I will write the coordinates of those we chose: 38°18'34.5"N 43°02'23.0"E. Crossing takes about 15 minutes. You have to take a return ticket too, then you can return whenever you want until the last boat of the day.

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Akdamar Island from a distance
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Akdamar Island from a distance
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Pier
On Akdamar Island there are the ruins of an Armenian Holy Cross Cathedral from 10th century, which was the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Catholicosate of Aghtamar from 1116 to 1895. The meaning of the name of the island is unknown but according to an Armenian legend there was a young girl, called Tamara living in this little island and every night when her lover swan from the shore to the island, she guided him with a light in her hands. But one day the girl’s father heard about this situation and without the knowledge of his daughter, during the night, he turned on a light, moved around the island and misguided the young boy. At the end, because of swimming so many hours, the boy became weak and drowned. Before drowning he cried: “Agh, Tamara!” (Oh, Tamara). When the young girl heard the words of her lover she jumped into the lake and drown too.
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
From our boat
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
When we are approaching to the island
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa


Contrary to this sad story, if you can visit the place around April, you can find a colorful island because of cherry and almond blossoms.


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Shore from the island:

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

There is also a cafe that you can drink something like samavar tea.

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

There are so many rabbits on the island:
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

After the island, we visited Halime Hatun Kümbeti in Gevaş. Kümbet is the given name for the Seljuq mausoleums. They are important monuments in Seljuq architecture. Unfortunately this Kümbet was a little bit forgotten, there was no explication at all on the site.


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Cemetery around the kümbet.
From Gevaş we went to the center, to see the Fortress of Van. The castle was stunning because of its huge stone fortification at the top of a hill. It was one of the best and most complete castle that I saw in Turkey and I read that this Urartian castle is the largest example of its kind, it built during the 9th to 7th centuries BC. The mud shaped walls of the castle were very interesting. We reached the fortress at closing time; but fortunately the guard of the castle let us to visit a little bit. So, you have to come before sunset. (Actually, I think the sunset was the best time to see the castle and surroundings). We just climbed until the entrance of the fortress then went to eat pearl mullet in a restaurant close to Edremit district and turn back to our hotel.


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Sunset from the castle

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Van from the Castle
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Zoom to he muddy shaped walls
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
Entrance of the fortress
The fallowing day we ate our breakfast at the hotel and then checked out as soon as possible to head to our next destination, Ağrıs’s Doğubeyazıt town.

The trip between Van and Doğubeyazıt takes about 2h30mins. But of course there are so many things to see during the voyage. It is easy to drive, because you drive almost all the time straight forward.

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa
During our trip, we were always close to Iranian border
Before living Van, we would like to visit the Van Urartu Museum but it was close due to restoration. The opening date was close, so maybe now it is open. It must be one of the richest archaeological museums in Turkey. So we decided to visit Van Cat Research Center (or Van Cat House). This is a protection center for the Van Cats and established at the campus of Yüzüncü Yıl University. These cats are known for their soft white fur, their odd-eyes (having different colors) and ability to swim. If you want, you can visit and/or feed them in this research center.


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa

Baby cats:
Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa


Van, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, TushpaVan, Erzurum, agri, dogubeyazit, travel blog, gezi blog, van gölü, Lake Van, pearl mullet, eastern Anatolia, akdamar island, van cat, van castle, Halime Hatun Kümbeti, Tushpa


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