What Van, Pearl of The East, Has to Offer is Unique in The World - GeziBilen

What Van, Pearl of The East, Has to Offer is Unique in The World

Flying fish, cats with eyes of different colours, and reverse tulips, all unique properties that can only be found in legends. So, it would not be wrong to say, with this cultural landscape, that Van opens the gates of a different world to the visitors. Certainly, you may have heard about the symbols of the city, but I bet you, you will be surprised when you get to know the others you have not heard of before… Well then, let's get started!

Which is More Astonishing, That It Can Swim or That It Has Eyes of Two Different Colours?

Van Cat is a feline species endemic to Van. This is okay, but the most distinctive characteristic of these cats is their eyes. Though frequently confused with the Cat of Ankara, they have eyes of different colours, one in amber and the other in blue, and these little fellow animals have relatively longer hairs. This feline species standing out with their eyes due to a genetic disorder have another odd habit: they can swim! Yes, normally, felines do not like water, but this species is a little different than the others! 

According to a legend, they fled Noah's Arc swimming and arrived in Van. Some call them 'swimming cats' because they have a strong liking for water and swimming. Now a piece of bonus information: Van cats have the lowest deafness rate among felines in the world! Even a single photo with these loveable, sweet fellow animals meowing around you will evidence that you have been to Van.

Pearl Mullet, A Species under Protection

Here is another fellow animal of the flying fish species endemic to this region! It is an interesting fish that lives in the Lake of Van, also called sea (!) due to its huge size. Even though it is called a mullet, this fish species finding habitat in the saline-alkali waters of the Lake of Van is a fish species belonging to the family of carps. It is a fish species endemic to this closed basin. In April every year, the pearl mullet swim against the stream to the upper reaches of creeks for spawning. You should have a closer look at the spectacle created by these fish for which festivals are held! 

In the first week of June every year, a festival in carnival ambiance is held at the waterfront of Deliçay Creek in the district of Erciş, a good occasion where you can also taste pearl mullets! But remember that this delicate fish which you can only eat here all over the world is rich in calories and can influence your weight upwards … In short, don’t say, ‘I don’t put on weight if I eat fish.

Every Legend is Sorrowful Here

Do you know where you can test the hospitality of the people of Van? When you ask them to allow you to have a photo taken in their gardens full of flowers. It is no joke; the Van Tulip doesn't grow in nature but people grow them in gardens here. Seeing this flower, you will understand that life is a miracle. 

These flowers usually grow in the district of Gevaş. It is also known as ‘Flower of Sorrow’ or ‘Reverse Tulip’. Their blooms have a maximum lifespan of 15 days! For this reason, if you want to see them in bloom, then you should visit the region in April-May. Well, do you know why they are sorrowful? 

Legend has it that various religions attach a different meaning to this tulip. While, on the one hand, Moslems believe that the flowers blossom in the reverted direction due to the murdering of Hasan and Hüseyin in the Karbala War, Christians believe, on the other, that this flower grows there where the tears of the Virgin Mary fell after witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The flower, which is also associated with the sorrow of love, is also referred to in the epic story of Farhad and Shirin. Out of sorrow for the lovers who cannot come together, it bows down to their fate in red colour.

Even though it represents the great sorrows Anatolia has experienced, never say, 'I have seen all the symbols of Van' without having seen and smelled this flower! And if you are a flower-lover, then you can take a bulb of this flower back home and grow it in a flowerpot at home! 



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