On a recent research trip in Turkey, I ventured to many new (for Trufflepig) destinations in this land that splendidly rewards repeat visits. It was a day of some of my favourite things to do when travelling, 1. Being on the water; 2. Seeing things that are surreally fascinating; 3. Eating lots of great local food accompanied by wine.
There is a gorge that has been created by the Birecik Dam in southeastern Anatolia at the Euphrates River that has created some majestic scenes and settings. There are now boat tours that take you out on the windswept blue water for the day, where you can admire the spectacular surroundings and enjoy the view whilst sipping an Efes.
Among the beautiful vistas you will pass the epic Fortress at Rumkale, a once advantageous and strategic positioning for these impressive ruins. As you continue your voyage along the sun-dappled waters of the reservoir, you reach the town of Halfeti, now half submerged under the waters created by the dam, it is a bizarre and slightly sad sight, but also rather lovely, with the minaret of the (now, underwater) mosque poking up out of the waves.
A fitting end to the excursion is a meal on the water, we ate excellent local meze at the Fırat Yuzen Restaurant. This day makes for an awesome adventure between the two fascinating cities in southeastern Anatolia of Sanliurfa and Gaziantep, of which more will follow.