After an early night in the nice, albeit “dry”, Edorba Elegance Hotel – Saturday morning was bright and sunny.
A nice breakfast and the tour bus leaves to go visit the various Syriac monasteries in the area as well as a Kasımiye Medrese, an old islamic school, nearby that was only open for about 50 years from 1450-1500AD.
The medrese has a commanding view over the fertile north Mesopotamian plain – the fertile crescent, cradle of civilization.
There is a fountain that flows into ever larger square pools in the Medrese that symbolizes the journey from birth to death.
We then drive 40km east to the border town of Nusaybin, a town in existence for almost 3000 years and also the old Roman border fortress of Nisibis, which saw the demise of several Roman Emperors who fought over the centuries against the Persians. After driving along the cement border wall for several km we get to Nusaybin.
And here, just 300 meters from the border with Syria, is a 3rd century church of St Jacob with the sign written in Turkish, English and ancient Syriac, a precursor of the Arabic language.
We leave Nusaybin and drive up into the surrounding hills to a small village with an outdoor restaurant and spring called Beyazsu (White Water). Excellent kebabs all round, sitting outside in the sun with running water all around.
After that, it was back on the bus for the journey back over the plain and up the hill back into Mardin again for a few last pictures of sunset over north Mesopotamia.
There followed an evening of live music and local Syriac wine, and dad continuing to polish his reputation as a very capable dancer with the locals.Share