Day 8 - Bexal, Rawanduz, Korek and teasing death - Part 1

I meet up with the others this day as we decided to go on our next road trip. This time it is from Hewler/Erbil towards Rawandez ( a vacation place). So me and Ali, drove all the way from Suli and back to Hewler. It was a fun trip that lasted almost 2 hours.


Not long after, we headed towards our cars and went to buy stuff for barbecuing in Rawanduz. That seemed to be actually pretty hard. Poor Ranj ended up going around the city to look for the individual things. I also had the chance to go to a Nan-bakery. I think it was almost 50 degrees Celsius that day, but the workers in the bakery were working in even warmer condition as they were basically working inside their nan-ovens. I learned yet again that patience is a talent.


On our way to Rawanduz, I was yet again shocked by the beautiful nature filled with huge mountains and valleys. The reason for this nature architecture was the fact that we were close to the Iranian borders again. I think the people living close to the border are lucky. The beautiful nature was not a joke. Actually, now that I think about it, Suli also had mountains surrounding it and a lot of green scenery. I feel lucky we have such beautiful nature without being at the border -guess it is my inner Slemani pride speaking


On our way towards Rawanduz, we stopped for a while at a gas station. There I met two puppies. They wanted to come running towards me to play, but instead, they limped their way towards me. Half scared and half malnourished was more the reason they limped towards me. People in Kurdistan don´t really always respect the animals, and keep calling them "Pis, Pis" which means "dirty". Well, I don´t think the animals exactly are in the best shape and I believe they are sick because of no care, no food and no love from the people in the country. But still, they are animals. They can´t speak human language even if they feel hurt, sad or sick. If we take better care of them - because they are kurdish too - they wouldn´t be "Pis", but a moral and psychological support in dire times. The puppies made it towards me after struggling in the heat, they laid down on their backs wanting me to pet them. I apologised because I couldn´t touch them. Yes, some of them are contagious. If I wanted to help them, I had to stay healthy. An hour ago, my friends (as usually) bought me drinks for free (because kurds are like angels). Strangely, even though I was super thirsty, I couldn´t bring myself to drink it. And here is the religious Bano in me. I think everything has a reason. Anyways, I ended up taking the drink with me to the dogs. I opened the can with orange juice for them, and while the drink was running out, the dogs didn´t understand that I wanted them to come and drink it. So in the end, I gave them the drink while holding it myself. Even though the dogs were really scared, still we connected. I almost started crying. Why are people in Kurdistan treating animals this badly? We used to be a mountain nation, living harmoniously with nature. Did we forget our roots?


We stopped at Bexal Waterfall on our way. Again, just like Ahmawa, the stores and restaurants were built on and around the waterfall. This time, more than Ahmawa. The water was running in the small shopping street they had built. You felt basically surrounded by water, as if your were walking through the waterfall. The waterfall was by the way, crammed by tourists from every part of Kurdistan and also Iraq. We stopped by here to eat at the restaurant. With the waterfall in the background, perfect company and the tasty food in front of us, I couldn´t wish for more. If I died there, I wouldn´t regret it. It felt like paradise. I wish they can take care of the waterfall and the shops around it. I still see that there are problems when it comes to keeping the waterfall clean from garbage. I hope the people become more aware of such things. The same goes for other places in Kurdistan. We have to take care of our nature.


Finally, three hours after we left Hewler, we arrived at Rawanduz vacation resort. The hotel was awesome, the nature even more. It wasn´t that hot. I guess the nature there gives Rawanduz a different temperature. We had fun playing with each other (like small children) and checking out the resort. The resort had restaurants, games and a park. The games were not a joke. Below is a link as to where we stayed. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to experience Rawanduz.


As I said, the games where no joke. At the Pank resort, they offered so much! Here are some of the attractions:

This is a self-controlling roller coaster. You hold a lever which in return, let you control the speed. Can you imagine we did this late at night? Where we almost couldn´t see anything?

The scariest thing I ever did. This stupid me thought this cute thing called "shingelbana" was a children´s toy. It looked like a harmless, slow rollercoaster. It ended up being a nightmare. I have no idea how many meters up in the air we were, as this shingelbana drives on the EDGE OF THE MOUNTAINS. AT THE EDGE. I REPEAT, AT THE EDGE. Looking down at a kurdish- Grand Canyon, and during the night - I honestly can´t tell you if the night made it better or worse. But if anythings were to happen to us, I would die a slow and horrible death.  Ok, enough with the cowardliness, the view was breathtaking (although I kept myself glued to the side closest to the edge in the cable car). The others got a beautiful look at what the kurdish mountains had to offer, while all of them were on one side, looking curiously down 2000 metres, I glued myself to the opposite site of the cable car thinking the other could tilt us down. Yes, I am afraid of heights.


Later that night, we started on our barbecuing. And to my tragedy, we didn´t buy any dessert for me. Sorry for being so selfish, but I simply can´t live without Shoti/watermelon, especially when I am in a country who lives off it. My best friends (best friend can´t even describe it), drove all the way down to the town (Pank hotel was high up in the mountains, far away from the city centre) after midnight, only to bring me watermelon. Am I lucky or what, for having such friends? They are seriously a blessing to my crazy life. Anyways, after eating, talking, dancing and going crazy with each other - I went to sleep like a rock.