6. First breeze of Asia. Tatvan-Van

Our last destination, the capital of the East, was Van. In order to get there we needed 1-2 days of hitchhiking. Kurdish people we met on the way decided it would be 2. Two guys with big hearts and a good sense of humour showed us famous Turkish hospitality by inviting to their restaurant where we had a real feast: all kinds of meat and delicious ice creams made of local pistachios. After trying to make friends with their pet parrot who was the main attraction of the restaurant, they invited us to Tatvan to their place. During the whole evening our host constantly reassured us that we were best friends and Kurdish people are the best in the world. Google translator helped a lot with our conversation but when we run out of topics (there weren’t many anyway) we decided to go to sleep, especially after our friends decided to entertain themselves by methamphetamine. Lovely Kurdish.

Dinner with our amazing drivers!

The next day, after refilling breakfast, we hitchhiked to Van. We had a host who in fact hosted us at the place of his friends. As Van wasn’t our main goal we went to Akdamar island which lays in the middle of Van lake. Even though my lovely partner didn’t want to move anywhere I convinced him that he wouldn’t regret. And he didn’t. Tiny island with a little orthodox church and the mountains in the background- typical postcard view. The hill we climbed going around the fence provided even better views and the most important, privacy. It was like a fairytale. And even though we could have stayed there forever we had just 1 hour otherwise Mr Captain would leave us there for the whole night. On the board we met a sweet couple with a little baby who invited us for a dinner- fresh fish directly from the lake. Sometimes I don’t have words to describe how hospitable Turkish people are. Can you imagine European meeting randomly some foreigner and buying him a dinner? Definitely not. And that is exactly the difference between our cultures. Open heart. After a question if our host is normal (in the phone he sounded like weirdo) family picked us up to his place wishing good luck. Our host was a weirdo if not an asshole who had just one intention inviting us- getting a reference. Whatever. At least his friends were great and the next day it was really sad to leave.

Heaven on earth, Akdamar island

Unfortunately that day showed different face of Kurdish. One nice driver who was about to bring us to Van castle wasn’t actually so nice looking for any opportunity to touch my leg. After few fierce words I stormed out the car and headed to the castle. There we found another young cheater who offered to show us the castle out of his good heart. That’s what we thought. But after a short tour and gifting him a chocolate he said a magical word: “para”. I told him what a liar he was without hesitation and he quickly shut up. What a day.  We made it up by visiting a cathouse full of white cats with different (green&blue) eyes- the symbol of Van. Even though some of them looked miserable they had a better life than on the street I guess. It was the last night on the East and we wanted to spend it by The Great Lake. Muradiye waterfalls weren’t really impressive so we quickly found a good spot by the lake, bought coke and my beloved Tutku and we decided to celebrate. Celebrate the end of our trip in Turkey. Now time to come back to Istanbul where Dubai Airlines will take us to Karachi.

Van cats, symbol of the city

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