We arrived in Gaziantep on Tuesday, after leaving Mount Nemrut, and checked into Hotel Yunus in the old town. It was quite ok, but unfortunately, my health had deteriorated over the last day or so. I spent the next day mostly in bed, venturing out for a few hours to talk to Tim Schindel. This resulted in us moving to his hotel the next day, the likes of which I had not experienced before.
Hotel Anadolu Evleri truly became home for the next four and a half days. Mostly, I did very little except some research into the rest of the trip through the Middle East, a bit of motorcycle maintenance, talking with other hotel guests till late at night and just soaking up the environment. I was still quite ill and not up for much, so the usual wandering through town to see the sights and take a bunch of pictures did not happen. That said, Gaziantep is a nice place. Baklava and pistachios is what the place is known for. Also, about 500 old houses, similar to the ones the hotel is based on, are spread throughout the city.
Hotel Anadolu Evleri
The most interesting experience in Gaziantep was our stay at Tim & Dila Schindel's hotel. I got Tim's name through contacts in Istanbul. As you can tell from the pictures, his place is not the kind of place we'd normally stay at. A few years ago, he bought four adjacent properties, houses which are built around a courtyard, and is slowly restoring them. Two now make up the hotel, one is his place of residence and one is waiting for a burst of inspiration.
We met Tim at his hotel and after a casual chat in an environment where any minute you expect a naked woman to jump from a crevice to feed you grapes, he invited us to stay in one of the suites at a price we could afford. It did not take much convincing. During all this, he made numerous phone calls to motorcycle dealers in Gaziantep, Istanbul and other places to track down a front tire for me, a project that would have cost us a day if not more. He's well connected in the motorcycle world and an hour later a tire was on its way from Istanbul.
The suite we got was incredible. Everything was restored without the obvious use of new materials, except for an immaculate Western-style bathroom. Around the room and the bathroom, antique bits and pieces give the place a very charming and authentic aura.
Life happens in and around the courtyard, with many places to sit and relax.
A few little private rooms are hidden around the property.
Small and tasteful decorations are everywhere.
It's an exceptionally nice way to spend our last days in Turkey. Once my tire arrives, we'll make our way to Syria.