Patnos: Why Patnos?
Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
154Trip End Sep 11, 2009
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As stated above, Malazgirt is where the Selcuk Turks beat the Byzantines and redirected the history of Anatolia. So, that's what I do: go see these places and put them in mind's eye, desolate though this one apparently is to be.
Here, after securing a hotel room, I went out walking to locate the road out of town in the direction of Malazgirt--which I did--and in the process became a pied piper to some of the local urchins. One could speak some English, and they eventually steered me to their school to ostensibly meet the English teacher. I went along because, well, what else? I don't know; I ended up in a office with a lot of guys, one of whom spoke English pretty well; but I don't know if he was the English teacher or not. They took me on a visit to one classroom (and some urine-smelling halls), then took my leave. Actually, I believe they were self-conscious about the smell (commenting on it), and that sort of ended the tour. (Well, I wondered later, Why don't you just just get together and wash the place out? I don't think fast enough on my feet to have asked them that directly.)
I have noticed that the Turks seem to be of two kinds: Those who seem to do nothing but sit about, and those who work VERY hard.
Same little kid and his troop directed me to this internet cafe.
The Next Day:
In the morning the sky looked pretty ominous in the direction of Malazgirt. There had been some thunder and lightening, and some squalls. And I almost decided not to go at all, much less go and continue on in that direction. But I finally told myself that I shouldn't abandon my root plan after coming this far. So I decided to leave my gear in the hotel, and take a side trip to Malazgirt; then return to Patnos, and continue on to Erzurum.
I arrived at the dolmus stand at the edge of town to see a dolmus with a Malazgirt sign in the front window. I went in to the little waiting room next by, and addressed the first guy with a question as to when it would be leaving. He mumbled something to me--probably in Kurdish, anyway--and indicated for me to sit down. About a half second after I sat down, he got up and went for the dolmus, having detected some, obscure-to-me, vibes in the air, I suppose. I followed. And we left.
The trip to Malazgirt didn't take long, and the dolmus parked right across the street from the castle. In the castle keep a young, one-armed fellow fetched a key, and led me to the top of the one remaining tower. After a look around, we descended, and he treated me to a tea. Then I walked around town a little bit, mostly searching for a "situational" photo of the castle. Without success. The town was more substantial than I had imagined. And it even had a better looking hotel (or were there two?) than the one I stayed in in Patnos. So, after all, I could have come on the first day at no loss.
To get back to Patnos I didn't want to go to the dolumus stand, then more than likely be sat by to await the next run. Rather, I headed to the edge of the small town to try and hitchhike back to Patnos.
I had only about a 15 minute wait before a trucker gave me a lift. Then from Patnos I took a regular bus on up to Erzurum. And I only had to wait about 5 minutes for that one. The Turkish Travel Pixies again! The truck driver, in the pictures, looks pretty grim. But that's what Turks do . . . . for pictures. I mean, he gave me a ride, and he was a nice guy.