Wall Walk IV


Tea and Pretzel Vendors
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey
April 17, 2011

Some stretches have been well-reconstructed, some stretches have been completely knocked down, and some stretches are mere mounds of stone. I spent an entire day in Diyarbakir walking around and climbing atop the city walls.

There were far more fellow tourists exploring up atop than there were over my first stroll around Diyarbakir's ancient walls several years ago. Maybe the increased numbers are just on-account of timing. That first visit I made to Diyarbakir was at the beginning of winter. This present visit has come a month into spring. Maybe better weather is all that was needed to bring lots more camera-toting people to the top of the citadel.

Whatever the case, I'm happy to spend hours hopping around old rocks, simultaneously exploring a relic from thousands of years ago while taking in a bird's-eye view of the city.

I'm already on my way out of Diyarbakir. I'm at the bus station now. I've booked a ticket to another historic city west of here, ┼×anliurfa. I'm pausing there mainly as it's the next city down the road which is near a crossing point on the Syrian border. I will likely linger. 'Urfa sounds like an interesting place in and of its own right, steeped with architecture, bazaars, and a traditional way of life.

If I am refused at that next border crossing as well, there is one more possibility for me to travel on overland to Syria. There's a consulate in another city a little farther west, Gaziantep. Theoretically, I don't need to apply for a visa. I should qualify for a visa on arrival at any of the borders. But, with political tensions--if not an outright revolution--occuring throughout the country now, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm flat-out denied entry, even with a visa in my passport.

I'm formulating an alternate plan if I can't make into Syria on this trip. I'll backtrack to the northeast, exiting Turkey to visit Georgia. From there, I'll instead visit a "country" that doesn't exist: Abkhazia.

Whichever place I wind up entering in the next few days--Syria or Abkhazia--it will be a country new to me.