Taxis and Dolmus: Taxis are numerous in all Turkish cities and are recognizable by their yellow colour. The fare shown on the meter reads according to the distance traveled . the "Dolmus". A special service found only in Turkey, is a collective taxi which follows specific routes and is recognizable by itsyellow band. Each passanger pays according to the distance traveled and can get off at specific stops. The relatively cheap fares are fixed by the municipality. The "Dolmus" provides a service within large cities, to supurbs, airports, and often the neighboring towns. This is a very practical means of transportation and much cheaper than the taxi.
Van the ancient Urartian's capital city of Tuspa, tempest visitors to its location on the easthern shore of the lake. This remote but important city is set in a verdant oasis at the foot of a rocky peak. An imposing 9th-century B.C. citadel overlooks the new and the old parts of town. Steps carved in the rock lead to the Urartian Fortress; halfway up, inscription in unique form pay homage to Xerxes. Within the fortress are several Urartian royal rocks tombs. In the old city, the Ulu Mosque, Husrev Pasa Mosque and Ikiz Kumbets reflect Seljuk and Ottoman architectural styles. Vans interesting Archaeological Museum is in the new city, inland from the uninhabited old district. Still very much part of a traditional lifestyle, the Women of Van produce beautiful Kilims woven in the blue, red and white patterns. The exotic Van Cat, a protected animal has thick white fur and one blue and one green eye. In the same direction is Gevas, where you can visit a Seljuk Cemetery with many decorated headstones, and the lovely Halime Hatun Museum. Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey and at an altitude of 1,750 meters, is ringed by beautiful mountains. The province of Van sits by Lake Van, and was the ancient Urartian capital of Tuspa. It is situated in a green, fertile oasis in the midst of rocky mountains in the Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey. An impressive citadel stands on one of these peaks and dates back to the 9th century BC. There are steps carved into rock leading to the fortress, and while descending you will be able to see some cuneiform inscriptions paying homage to Persian King, Xerxes of the 5th century BC. In the fortress, the Urartian royal tombs are of interest. The surrounding area is full of Urartian remains. In the old city there are many mosques and mausoleums such as the Ulu Mosque, the Hüsrev Pasa Mosque, the Kaya Çelebi Mosque and the Ikiz Kümbet. The Archaeological Museum in the new city exhibits the Urartian finds. At Van Harbour you may find pleasant places to rest. For swimming and camping you may head for Edremit, 14 kms to the southwest. It is a holiday resort center from where you may do some sightseeing excursions. At Gevas, there is a Seljuk graveyard, filled with extraordinary headstones, as well as the lovely Halime Hatun Tomb. Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey (1.646 meters high and covers an area of 3.713 km2) and provides good opportunities for enjoyable excursions. You may go trekking or hunting in the mountains surrounding it, especially Mount Süphan, the second highest mountain in Turkey after Mount Ararat. Alternatively you may head for on the beach, or visit the Urartian sites and Turkish cultural centres. The islands on the lake are also interesting, most of them housing many monasteries and churches. The most important of these is the Akdamar Island with its 10th century church of Holy Cross. The church is now restored as a museum and its richly decorated walls have Old Testament reliefs. After visiting the museum you may rest at the beneath lakeside the almond trees, where there are good opportunities for picnicking and swimming. Carpanak Island is also interesting and deserves a visit. Hosab, 67 kms east, has a magnificent old fortress fronted by huge walls. At Çavustepe, there is an Urartian site, which is 25 kms from Van on the Hakkari road. 88 kms north of Van, are the Muradiye Waterfalls, perfect place to rest while listening to natures harmony at one of the restaurants or tea gardens around the falls. Van is also famous for its Van cat, a pure white, longhair cat which has the strange feature of one blue eye and the other green. Very few people know Tirsin pasture in Van. The rocky area of this 2.400 meters high pasture is an open air museum. There are thousands of pictures on thousands of rocks: Schematic pictures of taurus, bison dating back to ages between mezolithic times and bronze age. These pictures created by the hunters support the thesis that the area was thickly forested in prehistoric times. Around Van Lake specially 14 km to southwest, has good beaches, swimming and camping.
Hallo Ezop team, Tim,
your knowledge, your overall expertise us guiding visit to the special sites helped to make a very memorable trip. You were sensitive to our special needs and, great care of our expectations a range 100%.
Thanks again and again.
Graham/Orson / Christina Jaillers