|street cleaning in Nusaybin|
The border post here with Syria is now closed and has been for quite some time because of the civil war in Syria. There is a Byzantine ruin near the border which we cannot visit.
Instead we are here to see the recently excavated 4th century
But first we have lunch. It’s an excellent local restaurant – really busy at lunchtime with locals, which is always a good sign. My salad is superb, with pomegranate juice and dressing, and again the wonderful fresh flat bread which always seems to be readily available at meal times. And they made a menemen again for me – this time it’s spread thinly over a large concave metal skillet, and is simply delicious. In this warmer southern part of Turkey we have been drinking plenty of ayran – a salted yoghourt drink – I love it and it’s wonderful when the weather is hot. And I love it when they serve it in cool pewter mugs!
The Mar Jakub site is quite extraordinary. There is still plenty of excavation going on and we are not allowed to take photos of the work in progress – within the church itself we have a guide, and our own tour guide Gilgud translates for us. Through her he tells us that his is the only Christian Syriac family in the town. And he gives us a brochure on The Nusaybin school and Mor Yakop Church. It's a very informative booklet and I hope to be able write a little more about this impressive project at a later date.
|Mar Yakub church|
|inside Mar Yakub church|
|view from the Saffron Monastery|
nestling as it does under the cliffs amid lovely gardens looking down across the great plain of Mesopotamia towards the Syrian border, some 5km east of Mardin. The beautiful honey-colored stone glows in the special light in this part of Turkey, particularly at sunrise and sunset. Later we are allowed up onto the top roof, with suitable care required, to look over this scene. The view in all directions is awesome.
|the saffron monastery|