Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bitlis, Turkey on the way to Lake Van

Bitlis is a small town of about 62,000 inhabitants about 20 km west of Lake Van in eastern Turkey. Bitlis Castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the pre-medieval village, alongside the Bitlis River which flows into the lake. We stopped by on our way to Tatvan and Van, just for a half hour or so. It is also famous for their local honey, which my friends bought samples of. I tried to hike up into the castle, but the gate was locked. Bitlis also features five minarets, which is a lot for a town of its size.



During Ramadan the men hang out more, waiting for time to eat in the evening

I miss my bike. Of course, mine isn't as decorative as this one.

I love these shorty brooms.

Pottery, made from river clay, is common in Bitlis, Turkey

Michelle, Gwenn and Phyllis exploring the town of Bitlis

The castle overlooks the town of Bitlis

View of historic Bitlis, Turkey

Bitlis castle

Cotton dealer

One of five minarets in tiny Bitlis

Mostly the Turkish men play backgammon, but I'm not sure what this game is.

Young shoe repairmen

The castle walls above the town of Bitlis.

Smart internet cafe, as opposed to a stupid internet cafe?

I guess the heavy eyebrows make these mannequins Turkish. They are wearing red, white and blue though.

The gate to enter the castle was closed, but I could hike around it a little.

View from the backside of the castle in Bitlis, Turkey.

In general, the museums and tourist sites in Turkey have explanations in English as well as Turkish. This says that the castle was possibly built under the orders of Alexander the Gread [sic].

The Bitlis River is not much more than a creek, at least in the summer.

In Turkey it seems that anything goes, dress-wise, probably depending on the decision of the family or the husband. The woman to the left has the typical look of her generation. The woman on the right is the minority in Turkey. And many of the young girls look like they just stepped off of the streets of Manhattan.

Bitlis cemetery on a hilltop above the town.

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