Monday was a full day for Michael as he taught a two hour class in the morning and then visited possible field sites in the afternoon. I enjoyed tagging along as he and Muhammet became more and more animated and excited about the potential for future collaborative research……
In the morning, I took a stroll in the area surrounding the guest house and ended up on the Veterinary school property. I enjoyed watching a “cowboy” as he tended to his young calves….
I stopped numerous times to take photos of the wonderful wildflowers that were growing along the road. Muhammet explained that, rather than spend a lot of money on landscaping, the University had decided to allow the natural growth to take over. The result is slightly rustic but pleasing…..
As I wandered in the other direction I passed a private school and walked into a residential area which had a number of apartment complexes. It was fun to see the small children playing on the sidewalks and to hear the children playing in the school yard.
Speaking of the school, this morning early we heard the murmurs of children and realized that this school was adjacent to the guest house. The students lined up and did a series of things, including chanting, singing and listening to someone talk.
As I walked, I passed this interesting tree which Michael has now told me is a Paper Birch……
I loved the texture of the trunk, especially as layers peeled off….
….but what really caught my eye (pun intended) were the EYES that formed when the tree branches were cut off from the trunk…….
Muhammet and Hulya picked us up for lunch and took us to a Government run restaurant that is available for government workers in the area. The menu is set each day and you are immediately given your food.
We started with a Chicken soup, followed by several appetizers and ending with a main course of meat with tomatoes and vegetables served over Bulghar….. The white mixture is yoghurt with herbs and cucumbers in it. It was creamy and very tasty.
After lunch we went to a cafe for dessert and drinks. Muhammet ordered an array of deserts all of which were delicious…..
We enjoyed a rice pudding that was very creamy and covered with chopped pistachios (as was everything). The “U” shaped pastries were a type of baklava and the others were fried bread that had been soaked in a sugar solution.
The last stop was to a bank. As we entered, Muhammet punched a button and got a number. We then sat in chairs and waited our turn……
The electronic sign told which number was being serviced, which teller window to go to and which floor the window was on. It was very efficient and although there were 20 people ahead of us we only waited for a short time.
We had been having some issues with the guest house concerning hot water) so at 9:00pm Muhammet suggested that we move to a hotel that was in Kars. So, we packed up our suitcases and moved!!
There was a band playing on the top floor of the hotel so we went to sleep to the strains of Turkish pop music and were awakened at 3:30am with another call to prayer. We have now discovered that we are just a few blocks from the group of Mosque’s where I did the video so that is why we can hear it so clearly…especially with the open windows!!
By the way, Muslims pray 5 times each day….just before sunrise (hence the 3:30 awakening), at Noon, around 4:00, at sunset and then around 9:30.