Van is not the kind of city you'd hang out in without a reason. At least not me. Considering that Van doesn't really have any famous attractions and it's in Turkey, a country with possibly more historic monuments and beautiful scenery than… well anywhere I can think of except India, why would you even want to visit?
I came to Van because of a car problem. It’s a relatively big city. In Eastern Turkey, which is far less developed than the rest of the country the mechanics of Van were my best chance to sort out the problem.
I can’t say that I’ve fallen in love with the city over my extended stay here, but, I definitely don’t regret coming. I will say that the Kurds, who make up most of the population here are already some of my favourite people. Maybe I've been lucky, but, while all of Turkey has been incredibly hospitable to us, the Kurds have taken things even further.
There’s just something really pleasant about the people’s nature here. They’re chilled out, warm and very helpful. The rough faces of the men are always ready to break into a smile, especially when they see Mia.
There’s also something that I’ve found a little peculiar. It is said that East Turkey is quite conservative and while you do see plenty of women in hijab and men in more traditional outfits, I've seen some of the trendiest and stylish young people I’ve encountered anywhere. Girls with tastefully coloured, platted streaks in their hair, or business women with trendy glasses and smart coats. Then there are the young men. They’re a separate story.
After going to a local hairdresser it has become very clear that the men here really take care of themselves. I’ve seen an amazing array of haircuts on the street outside my hotel alone and the phrase smart casual should have a picture of a Kurdish man in the dictionary.
I haven’t focused on the mentioned fashionistas in my photos, since so many of them are in a rush somewhere. You’ll have to take my word for it. :)
We’re off to explore Lake Van and its surroundings. I hope we’ll find something fascinating.