The "ogretmenevi," as the teacher's hostels are called, was filled when we arrived late in the afternoon in Diyarbakir. So we checked out a 4-star hotel nearby. Our driver Rafet had some kind of connection there and we ended up getting a room for us four women, and a spare room for Rafet for $115 altogether. But the best part was the pool, considering the temperatures were 110 degrees at midday, and the best breakfast buffet so far.
Gwenn and I went out one evening walking through the old walled city, taking pictures of the people. I felt like the Pied Piper when the kids started following us around. The next morning I got up at sunrise and climbed on top of the old wall to walk around the perimeter of the ancient city, and took more photos. I also went swimming both days we were there.
The city walls were originally built in the 4th century AD, and were modified several times after that. It was built on a cliff above the Tigris River. This gave good protection to the villagers who lived inside the walls.
|Breakfast at the 4-star hotel. I passed on the bread and French fries. At least they were warm here.
|I'm also not crazy about had-boiled eggs, but I loved the grilled eggplant.
|Here's my breakfast, pool-side. That's cherry cider, not wine, by the way.
|Me, Michelle and Phyllis in the pool.
|Gwenn and I walked around the old city and found people who liked to have their photos taken.
|Diyarbakir is famous for their large, sweet watermelons.
|Making friends inside the walled city.
|I can't remember what was so funny, but it must have been a good one.
|Looking at the old walled city from the outside.
|A show shiner. They all have these very ornate shoe shine kits in Turkey.
|This old guy was great. Not only did he agree to let Gwenn and me photograph him, but he very proudly showed us his ID photos of himself as a young man.
|I climbed up the city wall while Gwenn peered up from below.
|Like I said, the kids were curious about us and enjoying hanging out.
|This little guy didn't want his picture taken at first. You can see he's being a bit held down. But his smile was precious.
|Gwenn and the same ladies who were waiting for Iftar, which means breakfast in Arabic. In Turkey it means the hour when the people can break the fast during a month of Ramadan.
|While most of the women are at home cooking the big feast each evening, many men hang out in the parks and rest until the food is ready.
|Many nap in the parks too.
|Not everybody wanted their photo taken.
|These two asked me to take their picture
|The men can be very affectionate with each other in public, but not men and women together.
|This beautiful little girl wasn't so sure about having her picture taken.
|Many of the people thanked me for taking their picture.
|She was very sweet.
|I forget how long this couple told us they had been married.
|There are bakeries everyone. This is the traditional bread of Ramadan.
|Following the tourists around. That's what they call us here in Turkey.
|Adorable happy kids.
|Most of the people in Diyarbakir are Kurds. Some people told me I look Kurdish. That's a real compliment. You can see how beautiful the people are.
|The next morning at 6 a.m. I took a walk on the ancient city walls.
|There were places where weapons could be pointed at attacking enemies.
|I saw a lot of families sleeping on the roofs to avoid the blazing heat.
|The newer city outside the walls.
|This couple hadn't gotten up yet.
|Diyarbakir has a beautiful park all along the inside of the wall.
|Once you're up on the wall there are few steps to get down.
|I didn't trust these two, so I made a beeline for the steps down.
|I stood near these maintenace workers until the two young men gave up and left.
|The man on the left has worry beads in his hand. That's pretty common.