A Travellerspoint blog

Konya to Cappadocia

Day 7

sunny 30 °C

In the morning we made a stop a tthe Sultanhani Caravanserai. This was built in the 13th Century by the Seljuk Sultan Alaettin Keykubad I and is the largest caravanserai of its period in Turkey. It is located between the city of Konya and the town of Aksaray and was used as a stopping off place for the camel caravans that plied the trade routes along the ancient Silk Road. The caravanserai has two main areas - one for the animals to board and the other for their owners and other travellers. For the human guests, accommodation was laid out around a large courtyard with a mosque in the centre, raised up on a tower.

Caravenserai

Caravenserai

Entrance to the caravenserai

Entrance to the caravenserai

In a caravenserai

In a caravenserai

In a caravenserai

In a caravenserai

Taken in a caravenserai

Taken in a caravenserai

Taken in a caravenserai

Taken in a caravenserai

After lunch we visited the Göreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It holds the greatest concentration of rock cut chapels and monasteries. It was indeed very breath taking. The churches have beautiful frescoes and it's very cool inside and provides protection from the intense heat.

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Inside a chapel in Goreme

Inside a chapel in Goreme

Inside a chapel in Goreme

Inside a chapel in Goreme

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum

On the way to the hotel we stopped to see how Turkish rugs are made. We found out that it's very hard work and that a medium sized rug could take up to 3 months to make. They use a double knot method. We also saw how the individual threads are made from the silk worms.

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A woman working on a rug

A woman working on a rug

women making the rugs

women making the rugs

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In the evening we went to a folklore show which was in a cave. We were given unlimited supply of beverages and also had turkish appetizers. The dances were from different parts of Turkey and depicted village life. There was also a belly dancer who was really good. Some of us went up to boogie at one point :-)

Folklore shows are held in this cave

Folklore shows are held in this cave

The cave where we saw the folklore show

The cave where we saw the folklore show

Enjoying our appetizers in the underground cave

Enjoying our appetizers in the underground cave

Belly Dancer

Belly Dancer

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Posted by travelbug_ 06:31 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Denizli area to Konya

Day 6

sunny 30 °C

Today we had no official sight seeing trips so we enjoyed the scenery on the way to Konya.

Konya is set on a high bleak plain in the middle of the Anatolian steppe. It's known for it's strong islamic leanings.
The city has close links with the life and works of Rumi who is the founder of Whirling Dervish Sect.
The Mevlâna museum, located in Konya housesthe mausoleum of Rumi.
In the afternoon we visited this museum.

The Mevelana Museum

The Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

The museum is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims as Rumi is regarded as a saint by Muslims. he delivered messages of peace, love of God and humankind and has far for impact nowadays than it did some 700 years ago.
You enter the courtyard of the tekke, with the dervish cells to your left and administrative offices to the right. When you approach the main building with its greentiled cylindrical dome you'll be asked to cover your shoes with thin plastic covers to keep the interior clean.

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum

At the Mevelana Museum


There is a graveyard with unusual styled gravestones which houses Rumî's family and descendants alongside dozens of Mevlevi sheiks (leaders of the order).

Gravestones of members of the whirling dervishes sect

Gravestones of members of the whirling dervishes sect

Beyond Rumi's tomb, there are two large rooms which was once used for the Mevlevi whirling sema ceremony. This is now covered with glass cases holding exhibits of Mevlevi historical artifacts such as Rumi'ss personal belongings including his conical caps and his prayer carpet; clothing of his son and succesor, Sultan Veled; and the elaborate hat of Rumî's spiritual companion Semsi Tebrizi. Other objects on display are the old dervish musical instruments.

In the next room are antique prayer carpets—one, of silk, with more than four million knots as well as illuminated Kur'ans, Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and learned commentaries and prayer beads. The central glass case holds relics of the Prophet Muhammed.

You are not allowed to take photos inside the museum but are allowed to take photos in the courtyard.

In the evening we had a walk around the town.

Posted by travelbug_ 06:28 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Arrival in Istanbul

Day 1

30 °C

Our flight to Istanbul was at 12:45 by Turkish Airlines. The air stewards seemed a bit rude and grumpy but maybe they were having a bad day !!

At Attaturk airport we first had to get our visa (£10) at a separate kiosk before we could go through passport control. Luckily I had read up on this before as we saw people queuing for ages at passport control and being sent to get the visa and queue up all over again. There was a big shove at the visa desk and you had to be ruthless and push in to get the stamp, if not you would be there forever!!

Then we made our way to passport control. There was a massive queue and a lot of foreigners were jumping the queue by going under the ropes which annoyed a lot of us as then we weren't making progress in the queue.
Luckily I had chosen the right queue which went faster than the others.

I had arranged a transfer from the airport to Taslik Hotel with Istanbul Airport Shuttle. This service was recommended by some people on Trip Advisor. We paid £17 for the three of us for a 30 minute transfer. The driver was really nice and friendly. Would thoroughly recommend them.

The room at the Taslik was spacious and clean. As we had a 7.30 am departure the next day, we went to sleep early.

Posted by travelbug_ 06:09 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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