The pampered carp of Urfa.
Sanliurfa Travel Blog› entry 136 of 251 › view all entries
July 7th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
First thing we did was find lunch at a place with a nice terrace and a view of old Urfa Castle. It was really hot out but the breeze and shade made it quite tolerable. The prices seemed so much lower then what we've seen elsewhere. I guess because it’s much less touristy than Cappadocia.
Fortified, we walked through the bazaar, where locally made copper pots were being sold, as were other useful household, food, and clothing items. This was not a “bazaar” set up for the sake of tourists…this is where the locals do their shopping. So much more interesting than, say, WalMart.
Conveniently, we were very near a large park area that is home to several of Urfa’s sites and Balikligol, or the Pool of Sacred Fish, which was our next stop. The protected and very well fed carp were practically climbing out of the water for the handfuls of special food (available for purchase, of course) that people were tossing in.
After “admiring” the sacred carp, we spent some time strolling through the park. There was a small lake and pools, several picturesque old mosques, and shady trees. It was busy with locals, but not crowded… a really nice atmosphere. We had tea at a shaded café and relaxed and enjoyed being out of the sun.
For dinner, we braved driving through town to find a restaurant recommended by Fodor’s. Our good luck held out: we found it without a problem. Urfa Sofrasi’s menu was all in Turkish, so I ordered the only thing I knew: pide, that Turkish pizza.
A lone lady came in for dinner while we were there. She was obviously not a local (I think Italian), as she was about 6-feet tall and wearing a semi cropped top that showed a sliver of back and stomach. Every man in the place stopped eating to stare at her, which they continued to do as she ordered and then as she ate. She seemed unphased by the scrutiny. I had also felt myself being stared at in the park (and no, I wasnt wearing a cropped top)… I don’t think they get very many foreigners here in Urfa.
We will stay here in Urfa just this one night. Tomorrow is another drive to another town -- Gaziantep. Til then… Allahaismarladik!
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