Posted December 2, 2009 by David McGuinness

After catching a bus to Dogubeyazit and arriving ahead of schedule I decided to walk the 6km up to Ishak Pasa Palace. After walking past an enormous army camp that seemed bigger than the town itself, the road started to climb and soon Ishak Pasa Palace came into view in the distance. A stunning location on the side of a mountain, the building itself I soon discovered easily matched its surroundings. The beautiful stone building contains a mosque, a library, a bath house, dining quarters and a haram, where the women used to live. Many of the stone carvings are simply exquisite, and the location is breathtaking. This has to be one of the most beautiful buildings anywhere on the planet. However as it was already December and at an altitude of almost 2000m it was fairly chilly. Winds whipped in through the glassless windows and my hands turned a shade of red I had not seen before. But I just couldn’t put my camera away.

After an hour exploring the building it was time to get some dinner and have an early night. The following morning I caught the bus back to Van and then a flight back to Istanbul. After a couple of nights in Istanbul, and days filled up with various meetings it was time to leave.

I felt sad to leave this great country, but really excited about the tours we will be starting to East Turkey next year. All my expectations have been exceeded. There’s just so much to see, huge variety, an unbeatable history and some of the friendliest and most welcoming people anywhere. Tesekurler Turkey!

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