A Good Day: Watermelon from Nohur, Where Alexander the Great Left Some Troops, and Street Names in DurunPosted by apm-wa on 10 June 2018 in English (English)
Ann and I drove up to Nohur, an ancient Turkmen village she had not yet seen. Alexander the Great came through here a couple of thousand years ago and left some of his legion behind. They settled in Nohur and their descendants are still here, some still with green eyes inherited from their Greek forebears. The village is famous for its watermelons so we bought one. While there I recorded the names of two of the three cemeteries not yet mapped and have now added them to OSM. I have to wonder how many of Alexander's soldiers are buried in them!
When the Mapillary images are uploaded (currently in progress) you can see some of the headstones, which are decorated with ram's horns. Nobody seems to remember exactly why, but it is apparently a custom left behind by the Greeks.
On the return to Ashgabat, we stopped to explore Durun, a typical former Soviet state farm village. It is small so we recorded every street name in the village represented on a street sign (not all streets had signs), plus some POIs. My embassy has published six American books in Turkmen translation so we gave books away to the villagers as we drove around collecting cartographic information. Word spread and at times we were mobbed by children wanting their own copy of "Harold and the Purple Crayon" in Turkmen. All in all it was a very enjoyable Sunday.
Tomorrow we'll start eating the watermelon.