Hello Donkey, Money Money..
Trip Start May 02, 2006
113Trip End Mar 02, 2007
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Confusingly Urfa is also known as Sanliurfa which means apparently 'Glorious Urfa'. And again it's also known as the Prophets City. It's one of Turkey's main pilgrimage towns as legend has it that the great Islamic Prophet Abraham was born in a cave here and lived in hiding for his first seven years. Similarly to Jesus, Abraham had to remain in hiding due to King Nimrod responding to a prophecy he received in a dream feared that a newly born would eventually steal his crown so he had all babies killed. Nasty.
So, on the back of that we could hardly pass up the opportunity to visit one of the Islamic worlds main pilgrimage points and Urfa's distinctly Middle Eastern flavour courtesy of it's proximity to Syria
The highlights for us in Urfa was certainly the Bazaar (at which we still couldn't buy anything), the picturesque Golbasi area of Urfa and lastly having every child greet us with, 'hello donkey, money money'. Nice..
The Golbasi area is where legend had it that Abraham was destroying pagan gods one day when the local Assyrian king, Nimrod took offence at his rash behaviour. Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre but god turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish (dirty carp). The highlight of the area for us was rectangular pools of water which are filled with supposedly sacred (I think they're dirty) carp.
Local legend (how many legends does this place have I hear you ask) has it that anyone catching the carp will go blind. Consequently they appear to us to be the most pampered and portly fish in Turkey. I say, dynamite 'em.
Built by Suleyman The Magnificent in the mid sixteenth century, the bazaar is eastern Turkey's largest and is a jumble of streets selling everything from sheepskins to pigeons
So that was Urfa, we have another day here but we are taking ourselves to Nemrut Dagi for a day before returning.
Next pod, Nemrut Dagi - Turkey.
Nath and Kat.