After our first night in Van, we traveled 110 miles north to Doğubayazıt. Our goal was to see Ağrı Dağı (Mount Ararat) and visit Ishak Pasha Palace.
We were super pumped to be within a mile and a half of Iran. David pointed out every watch tower along the border.
The drive took over three hours. As we traveled north, we saw a lot more snow. We also ran into fog which made for some scary driving, but David mastered it like a pro.
We finally got to Doğubayazıt only to run into some political protests in the street. (Don’t worry – nothing violent.) Police were blocking the street we needed, and we circled around for quite a while trying to find a different way to the palace. We ended up stopping just outside of the town to regroup and stretch our legs.
Behind us, you can see part of Mount Ararat beneath the fog:
David wanted to say “I ran near Iran!” so he used his GPS watch and went on a little jog:
Since we had driven so far, we went back into town to see if we could get to the palace one more time. Fortunately, a policeman finally let us through! Do you see the palace? It’s directly above the last power pole:
Ishak Pasha Palace was built in 1685 during the Ottoman period. Entry was 5TL or free with the Müze card.
This is the ceiling of the mosque within the palace:
The view of the surrounding landscape was incredible:
It was International Women’s Day so we took a picture of the girls in the hamam:
After a while at the castle, we decided to head back so we wouldn’t have to drive in the dark. We passed through several small towns along the way:
We made a quick stop about 35 miles outside of Van at Muradiye Waterfalls. The Turkish word for waterfall is şelale (sheh-lah-lay) – isn’t that pretty? We walked across the suspension bridge and back, but didn’t stay very long. I’m sure it’s much nicer when everything is green and in bloom.
I never thought I would see so much of eastern Turkey. And we still had one more day!
PS. Did you know there’s Mount Ararat bottled water?