Different people have different biorhythms. While I like to stay up late and sleep-in the next morning my roommate Emilie likes to go to bed early and get up early the next morning. This was also the case last night when I went to bed around 3am and Emilie had a shower at 5:50am in the morning. She was even awake before this time but after a while she felt the need to get up. Therefore, my night was over as well and my planned sleep-in until 9am was gone.
We left at 9:30am to visit the Ishak Pasha Palace which is only 5km away from Doğubeyazıt. It doesn’t really look like a palace but more like a complex with different sections such as a mosque or a harem which seems to be typical for Ottoman architecture. The palace is currently under restoration so we could only enter parts of it such as the two courts, the men’s quarter and the dungeons. There was also a nice terrace overlooking the valley with a direct view on Mount Ararat who is with an elevation of 5,137m the highest mountain in Turkey. Unfortunately the peak was covered in clouds but we hope it will clear up later on today or tomorrow morning.
Next to the palace was also a small fort which was built into the surrounding mountains. It didn’t take us more than 1-2 hours to visit both, the palace and the fort. Afterwards Isabella and Jason prepared lunch at the parking space next to the palace which was delicious pasta salad made out of the leftover pasta from last night. In the meanwhile some of us talked to a student selling souvenirs outside the palace. He told us due to the earthquake a few months ago his university is currently closed and he bridges the time until the lectures start again by selling souvenirs. I’m not sure if this story is really true or he just tries to make money out of it.
In the afternoon everybody was up for something different. Emilie and Patricia went shopping to buy some loose-fitting clothes for Iran, Isabella went to buy some oven gloves, Alistair went on a hike, Andrew went to see more sights, Jason went to the Hamam, Chris was hanging-out with some soldiers he met in town and I was just chilling. Probably Chris’s activity was the most exciting one since the soldiers invited him to their place and showing him their guns. When he asked if they actually use them he was told “yes, against the rebels” which he found frightening to hear.
In the evening Isabella and Alistair prepared some lovely dinner for us using the kitchen of the hotel. We had chicken with salad, potatoes and fried onions. There was even desert consisting of tea, oranges and Halva, a local sweet. After dinner some people went out for last beers since we will not be allowed to have any alcohol during our entire stay in Iran.