The caves in Tuzdagi, which have been formed 60 miilion years above, remind us of Cappadoda. However, these are not natural caves, instead, these are old enterprises, which have been dug by the humans to extract salt. This place has been operated by many nations and States who hat lived in the region. During the Ottoman era, Tuzdagi region is the most important mining area for the satisfaction of the requirements of the region. To operate his place, they have even built bridges and passages, the remains of which have been found today.
In the entrance of the new enterprise, a gray fox looks towards us from the hills. We can not see but everyone gets excited. Since the salt meets humid air in the entrance of the mountain, it resembles foam. It is hard, white and bubbly. When we enter the cave, cool air, which smells of salt surrounds us. It is said that the air inside was good for the asthmatic people. Nowadays a company has taken over the operation of the Tuzluca caves.
The determined galleries are blown up with dynamite and the extracted salt is loaded on trucks and transported. We pass through thcsc galleries. The walls are white. It is as if we are surrounded with crystals. We need to go to the salt lake in the bottom of the cave. First we climb and then ascend. Salt to the left, right, under our feet over our heads… Salt is everywhere. The lake has been formed with the rainwater. When the water level decreases here, they pump water from outside and from time to time, they drain this water to the ponds in the ridge of the mountain and dry the salt under the sun.
When we depart from Tuzluca we want to go to the Caravanserai, yet we learn that the roads in the region were closed due to the heavy rain few weeks ago. Caravanserai is located on the road. connecting provincial center of Igdir to Asma Village. Caravanserai, which is one of the best examples of 12th century Seljukid stone cutting, has been built by Surmari Prince Serafeddin Ejder. In Caravanseai, which is one of the important points of Batum-Tebriz road, the caravans have been staying here before they head for Cilli Pass. The monument, which was taken under protection in 1988, is still in wreck. We complete our day and return to our hotel.
Pamuk Mountain and Noah’s Ark
The next day we depart early to participate in Agri Mountain festival. On the road, we see that a replica of Noah’s Ark was constructed in the ridges of Pamuk Mountain or as Camel Pass, as it was called before. The Ark, which has been constructed to attract attention to the global warming with the efforts of the volunteers of Greenpeace, will be completed on May 3Ist. Pamuk Mountain, on which the Noah’s Ark was built, is requested to be converted to a skiing resort. Due to the geographical characteristics of the region, the project, concerning grass skiing in the summers, is under consideration.
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