As always, click on any image for larger view.
|Northern Bald Ibis|
|Habitat on left; notice old nest holes in cliff on right|
The birds had been reduced to only 5 adults and 9 chicks when those were captured and placed into this refuge. They were allowed to breed and today there are about 200. These birds normally would nest and live in holes in the cliff face of the hillsides overlooking the Euphrates River. But they cannot be allowed to live freely because natural predators could easily wipe out what few are left.
|Gwen bought the pretty 'rug' to the left above Bill's head.|
It is some sort of large, heavy bag woven from goat hair.
Will make a very pretty wall hanging.
In the wild these birds were being killed at a rapid rate because of the insecticides used for farming. The birds would migrate southward over Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt all the way down to Ethiopia. Insecticides are used on crops farmed in those countries. The birds would eat the poisoned insects and that poisoned the birds. It is still touch-and-go as to whether this species of bird will survive and ever be allowed back into the wild.
|Above Euphrates River|
After a short visit at the bird sanctuary and a visit to their souvenir shop we continued on our way north on the road toward the river destination. We did not know it at the time, but later I checked the map and learned that we drove right past the now-underwater ancient town of Zeugma, the site where all the mosaics had been recovered and moved to the museum we visited yesterday. About 30 minutes later we were overlooking the town of Haifeti on the Euphrates River.
|The mostly abandoned town of old Haifeti|
The bus stopped so we could take photos of this special place. It is lovely. For the past decade or more Turkey has built many dams and continues to build even more. This has created many beautiful lakes and, as one would expect, also has created problems for those living in locations farther south. The dams are beneficial in that these will prevent flooding that historically occurred during certain times of the year. This region of the world experiences a wet season and a dry season. Normally there is not a drop of rain from late May through late September; shoulder seasons with infrequent rainfall occur in April/May and October/November; and frequent heavy rainfall occurs in December through March. This rainfall pattern presents farming challenges which can be ameliorated by having the lakes for irrigation.
|Our boat was the one on far left|
|Bill had a great time|
|Mark & Dorothy and Gwen|
|Tom, Bill, Dorothy & Fran|
|Jet ski on the Euphrates??|
|On a rotten pulpit|
|Fran was more comfortable out there|
|Rumkale in distance|
|Getting closer to the castle|
|Side of castle|
Two links to information about Rumkale: Information about Rumkale
Wikipedia info for Rumkale
|Cliff cave/rock houses|
The cliffs overlooking the river on the castle side showed signs of having been occupied very long ago. Many caves were visible and places where the stone had been cut away to make living spaces. There was some rock formation also indicating old rock homes or buildings, as if people lived there long before that castle was built. But that is just supposition based on what we saw; I have no written information about this place.
|Submerged mosque except upper part of minaret|
|Note the underwater weeds. That looks like hydrilla to me.|
Don't know how it got there but it can devastate a lake.
|Tavuk Izgara = grilled chicken|
After lunch we backtracked southward to the main highway, then eastward to Şanliurfa. The preface Şanli in front of a city or town name means 'glorious' or 'divine' and usually means that someone important in religion is from this town or lived in this town or that some significant religious event occurred in this town.
|Castle above Urfa, a/k/a Şanliurfa|
The squiggly beneath the 'S' means it is an 'sh' sound. Therefore, the correct pronunciation of this city today is SHAHN-lee-UR-fah.
|Tony sitting on one of the many lobby sofas|
|The ultra-dropped crotch in pants is popular here with|
both men and women. Sometimes the women's pants
have the crotch all the way down at their ankles.
We soon tired of walking around the old city. I saw several men who appeared to be wounded Syrian refugees. Some had severe leg damage; one had both arms blown off at the elbows; and some wore bandages on faces and heads. We were not that close to Syria but this is a large city and apparently lots of Syrians have sought refuge here.
We did notice a much larger Arabic influence here than anywhere else we have visited in Turkey. The people were not as open and friendly as the Turks we have met elsewhere. They seemed to have a harder life here.
|Every cloud has a silver lining.|
Photo taken from our hotel window.
A good way to end the day.