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Mardin Travel Blog

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Donkey and owner walking down Birinci Caddesi

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I was struggling to get out of bed at 07.00, but i knew that if i didn't my day would be rushed and no fun. After a hot shower i was feeling pretty good, which is normally the case, and headed into the chilly streets. I caught a minibus down to the terminal and just managed to catch the 08.00 dolmush from Diyarbakir to Mardin. The 100km journey took 90 minutes and i did my best to sleep along the way, although to no avail.

Stepping from the dolmush i was immediately hit by the cold, as ice was in the streets and a chilling wind was blowing through the town.

Post Office
I pulled on my hat, zipped up my jacket, donned my gloves and i was off. Whilst Mardin is home to 55,000 people, it is spread out quite a bit, and thus much of it feels more like a village. I walked down the main thoroughfare Birinci Cadessi, admiring the fine architecture, whilst donkeys and their Kurdish owners passed me by in the opposite direction.

A few hundred metres down the road i got talking to a local guy in German, which seems to be almost as common a language as English in some places. Whilst it wasn't the most interesting of conversations, as my German is limited, it was a nice icebreaker and put me in a positive mood for the day.

The first points of interest that i came to were a restored caravanserai and this was located next to Melik Mahmut Camii. I bought some fresh warm bread from the bakery and ate this with some nutella, whilst watching the people going about their daily life.
Sehidiye Camii
Having gobbled this down i made my way further West through the town and stopped for a brief look around the Post Office and Sehidiye Camii. The Post Office in particular was stunning, situated in a restored caravanserai that had ornate doorways and a staircase that i found charming, but Lousy Planet calls 'clunky'. Make up your own mind.

Like almost every inhabited place in Turkey, Mardin boasted a Castle on the hill that overlooked the town. As it is still used by the Turkish military it was impossible to look around, but i decided to climb up towards it to at least get a better view. Situated on the slopes just before the fortress was the spectacular 1385 Sultan Isa Medresesi, with a wonderful recessed doorway, quaint courtyard and rooftop views to die for. Well actually it wasn't technically the Medresesi's rooftop that i went on to, as this was closed, but instead i scrambled up the side of the building and got an even better view that incorporated the buildings domes into the magnificent landscape.
Entrance to Sultan Isa Medresesi


Back down at street level i went to look at Ulu Cami, the bazaar, a traditional old Mardin house and the Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kilisesi), before leaving Birinci Cadessi to go to Kasimiye Medresesi. Built in 1469 the Medresesi houses the tombs of Kasim Pasa and his sister and there is also an attractive courtyard with a pool in the centre and arched pillars around the outside. Small children sat outside pestering visitors, so i did my best not to hang around too long when i exited the building.

I had seen the so called major attractions of Mardin, so i spent the next hour or so visiting areas that were devoid of tourists. I came across several Mosques, plenty of interesting houses and best of all i got some stunning views of the town. It had been a good day out, but i was feeling tired, so rather than risk flagging a dolmush on the roadside that could be full, i opted to walk all the way back to the bus station so as to guarantee my seat.
Kasimiye Medresesi


Now what really really pisses me off about Turkey is their transport. Not only is it expensive, but it rarely makes any difference where you are sat at the start of the journey, as undoubtedly you will be asked to move. I hate this system with a passion, why should you have to move if you took the time and effort to get a good seat? Today it happened again as the driver overcrowded the bus and then i was asked to leave my seat and squash into the back row with countless other people. For once i refused, as i didn't want to be uncomfortable for the entire journey and let some other person take my seat who couldn't be bothered to walk to the bus station. Some of the passengers seemed taken aback by this, but i really couldn't care a less to be honest.

Back in Diyarbakir's bus terminal i attempted to find out about onward buses to Nemrut Dagi, but i was having very little luck in getting the answers i needed.
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Eventually one of the guys started to speak in German and within a minute i had gathered all the departure times and connection information. And to think that i always say that knowing some German doesn't help, today i was proved wrong!

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Donkey and owner walking down Biri…
Donkey and owner walking down Bir…
Post Office
Post Office
Sehidiye Camii
Sehidiye Camii
Entrance to Sultan Isa Medresesi
Entrance to Sultan Isa Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Traditional houses in Mardin
Traditional houses in Mardin
Melik Mahmut Camii
Melik Mahmut Camii
Caravanserai Hotel
Caravanserai Hotel
Melik Mahmut Camii
Melik Mahmut Camii
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Buildings on Birinci Caddesi
Minaret at Sehidiye Camii
Minaret at Sehidiye Camii
Post Office
Post Office
Sehidiye Camii
Sehidiye Camii
Post Office
Post Office
Doorway at the Post Office
Doorway at the Post Office
Doorway at the Post Office
Doorway at the Post Office
Mardin Castle
Mardin Castle
Turksih flag on the hillside
Turksih flag on the hillside
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi and Mardin Ca…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and Mardin C…
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Ulu Cami seen from Sultan Isa Medr…
Ulu Cami seen from Sultan Isa Med…
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the minar…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the mina…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the minar…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the mina…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the minar…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the mina…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the minar…
Sultan Isa Medresesi and the mina…
Sultan Isa Medresesi
Sultan Isa Medresesi
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
Birinci Caddesi
Birinci Caddesi
Mosque
Mosque
Old Mardin House
Old Mardin House
Statue on the main square
Statue on the main square
Mardin Castle
Mardin Castle
Latifiye Camii
Latifiye Camii
Latifiye Camii
Latifiye Camii
Latifiye Camii
Latifiye Camii
Birinci Caddesi
Birinci Caddesi
Small Mardin street
Small Mardin street
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kili…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kil…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kili…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kil…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kili…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kil…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kili…
Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kil…
Mosque
Mosque
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Kasimiye Medresesi
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mardin, with the Castle behind
Mosque and cemetery
Mosque and cemetery
Mosque and cemetery
Mosque and cemetery
Mardin with 3 minarets on the skyl…
Mardin with 3 minarets on the sky…
Mardin with 3 minarets on the skyl…
Mardin with 3 minarets on the sky…
Mardin with 2 minarets on the skyl…
Mardin with 2 minarets on the sky…
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin with the Turkish …
A view of Mardin with the Turkish…
Mardin
Mardin
Mosque
Mosque
Mosque
Mosque
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
A view of Mardin
Mardin
photo by: Melly_K