Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Well, that's me in Dogubayazit.  Above is a still from a video clip I took today as we drove into the town.  That's Ararat towering above.  It's huge.  It absolutely dominates everything in sight.
My hotel room here as expected, is basic, but that's OK, I'll survive.
The room here has a balcony though, which is something the Istanbul one didn't have.
Today was interesting.  I have a helper/translator/driver called Zafer.  He tells me he knew Donald very well and talked with him often.  He tells me that everyone in Dogubayazit knew Donald.
The authorities here are very jittery.  What a flap I caused in the wee airport at Agri where we landed today when I pointed my camera out through the doorway.  A policewoman immediately told me that I couldn't take pictures.  When I said, 'is it not OK?' she phoned someone to ask if I could.  She had no English.  In response to her call more police and a number of suited officials arrived wondering what we were doing.  The senior man among them was initially very standoffish and when he heard Ararat being mentioned said, 'It is forbidden to climb Ararat.' but when he realised that we did not actually intend to climb it he immediately became very friendly even showing us lots of snaps on his smartphone.  The policewoman who spoke to me was also very friendly.
It was extremely hot here today, much hotter than Istanbul, but cool enough in the evening to cause me to add another layer.
The hotel is called the Ararat hotel.  For the moment let's just say - it's interesting.
By the way, the sandals aren't mine - they leave a pair beside every bed.

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