Does anyone here speak German?
Mardin Travel Blog› entry 478 of 658 › view all entries
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.