Weekend Highlights

A weekend well spent.  I explored a couple new roads on the back of my new bike, and hiked to a popular vantage point overlooking Duhok, complete with a large painted Kurdistan flag.

Thursday evening, shortly after getting out of school (my weekend, and almost every workweek setup in the Middle East is Sunday-Thursday with Friday and Saturday off), I took the bike for a spin along a service road that I’d noticed just south of Duhok.  Duhok has an oblong shape when viewed from above, as the city is hemmed in by steep dramatic mountains to both the north and south.  Although not particularly tall, the mountains make a rugged backdrop to any view in the city, and provide ever-present natural beauty.

VIew from the top of the service road, looking down on Duhok
View from the top of the service road, looking down on Duhok
A tattered Kurdish flag waving wildly in the wind
A tattered Kurdish flag waving wildly in the wind
The ascent along the barren road.  The route switchbacked steeply along the side of the mountain.  There was almost no vegitation making the views increasingly spectacular as I climbed. Mosul Lake is in the distance.
The ascent along the barren road. The route switchbacked steeply along the side of the mountain. There was almost no vegitation making the views increasingly spectacular as I climbed. Mosul Lake is in the distance.
The two guys who agreed to let me photograph them found me ten minutes later and returned the favor
The two guys who agreed to let me photograph them found me ten minutes later and returned the favor
My family makes fun of me for how much I love sunrises and sunsets... I deserve all the teasing I get
My family makes fun of me for how much I love sunrises and sunsets… I deserve all the teasing I get

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The following day, Friday, I hiked one of the most popular views to the south of Duhok with some colleagues of mine. The hike was relatively short (distance wise) but very vertical, and we took our time so as to enjoy it as much as possible.

The hike got very vertical very quickly
The hike got very vertical very quickly
Posing in the middle of the painted-on Kurdish flag
Posing in the middle of the painted-on Kurdish flag

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The views from the top were, as I've come to expect from Kurdistan, perfect.
The views from the top were, as I’ve come to expect from Kurdistan, perfect.

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Looking west

We enjoyed our time on the top, taking an extended chai and snack break
We enjoyed our time on the top, taking an extended chai and snack break
Looking down on Duhok from the north. The ridge in the far distance is the one I biked the evening prior.
Looking down on Duhok from the north. The ridge in the far distance is the one I biked the evening prior.
Looking down on a dense  neighborhood of Duhok
Looking down on a dense neighborhood of Duhok
...and looking east
…and looking east
For a little perspective,this is the ridge we hiked, the Kurdish flag barely visible, painted near the summit
For a little perspective,this is the ridge we hiked, the Kurdish flag barely visible, painted near the summit

And once we’d all worked up an appetite I ended the day with a sheep brain sandwich. Simply because  it was offered.

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One thought on “Weekend Highlights

  1. Wow, Dawson
    Loved all the pictures you took and shared. Love sunsets & sunrises myself. Keep taking those great pictures.
    Take good care of yourself.
    Dolores Freeman

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