Grander mosques are heavily armed with ballistic missiles :)

Stoneworks on the saray's entrance.

Ancient fortifications next to Ishak Pasha saray.

Heart shaped figures of light at the dining room.

After the first week or so across Turkey we thought it never rained there... the next few days proved us terribly wrong.

Some of us climbed to a nearby ridge, probably at about 3300m.

Outside of the mosques there are plenty of places dedicated to washing your feet.

Ararat, with its ice cap and vast, flat grazing lands at its feet.

Beatifully ornamented dome of Selimye mosque in Edirne.

Old gentleman in the town of Doubaiazut. Taken in front of the office of our kind host, Baba Parashut, who made all in his powers to make out ascent possible. As it turned out the Turkish embasy in Sofia had sold us some visas for climbing Ararat we did not need, nor did they were of any use for anything. One of them was even issued mistakenly as a permit for excavation - something unheard of, as Parashut explained. So we had to pay additional money for a permit, money we simply did not have.

Inspite of the at times seemingly flat terrain passes show impressive heights (in metres).

The saray's dining room.

More of the misty road.

Impressive vistas near lake Van.

Approaching the black sea... the landscape turns from desert to damp forest almost instanteniously.

A child tending cattle. An island with a famous Armenian church in the lake Van is seen in the background.

The joy of travelling out of season: an enourmous campsite with genuine grass at the sea. Desolate, sevaral kilometers long beach. And all that for free!

The second largest meteor crater in the world, located at the Iranian border, some 30 km east of Doubaiazut. Arrarat and its smaller sibling are seen in the background.

Old man resting in a village on the northern slopes on the Kachkar mountains. We bought the tastiest cheese here.

The saray has its own mosque complete with a minaret.

Most mosques are build like tanks - a conctrete sarcophaguses that even the severest of landslides can tilt, but not demolish.

As it turned out it is not enough to wear a T-shirt with the turkish flag and drink lots of tea 'Alpinist' to conquer the turkish mountains.

From dust to snow - our camp at a bit over 3000m near Mt Kachkar(3937m).

Every patch of damper and hence greener land is used for grazing cattle.

Beatifully coloured hills by the road.


On the following morning, after the previous night's storm, the mountain is noticeably more snowy.

Morning light.

A closer view of the glacier - the little specks on the trail after the last big crevasse before the top are the guys having fun climbing the "big ice", as a local put it.

Children tending cattle on the southern shore of lake Van.

The mountain of Suphan on the northern shore of lake Van. This is Turkey's second highest mountain.

Katchkar vistas.

More snow fell during the night.

One more view of the cold lake in Nemrut. In mid September it is anything but cold - its pleasantly warm and deep blue waters are stunningly clear. A perfect place to forget the ubiquitous Anadolan dust.

Old converasions quickly pick up speed at the picturesque camping site of Baba Parashut, overlooking Ishak Pasha Saray and the town.

Doubaiazut - a woman cradling her child.

The landscape in the caldera of the now extinct volcano of Nemrut. The radius of the caldera is 7 km. It boasts 4 lakes, one of which is seen below the rim.

Doubaiazut, close to the Iranian border - rasaries are an indispensable attribute.

Inside the mosque.

Another view of Nemrut. A dust road is visible, crossing the lower part of the image.

This big, sad-eyed dog follewd us everywhere... it even tried clumbing a steep glacier leading to Mt Kachkar.

Mt. Kachkar is on left of the glacier. Prabably the peak itself is not visible from this place.

Lake Van as seen from the rim of the caldera of Nemrut.

The glacier that a 7 strong party of our team attempted and climbed almost to the top. If you look hard you can see the trail and some of the guys towards the top.

Another shot from the same location near lake Van. Mountains stretch as far as the eye can see and beyond.

Barren land near lake Van. The water seen as if at the end of the road is actually a bay of the lake. The lake itself is enourgmous, almost sea-like expanse, and its water not exactly sweet either.

A view from the camp.

Ishak Pasha saray's entrance and stone sentries.

All the slopes are covered with azalea - the green shrubs in the foreground.

More of Nemrut.