Day 7: Güzelyurt to Konya - October 18

Another hillside image, this one of the the current name of the town, Güzelyurt, and the former Greek name, Gelveri.
There is a small patch of farm in this hillside niche. Click on the image to enlarge. you can see part of a stone wall in the foreground, rows of what are probably fruit trees towards the background, and in the middle is some scorched earth. Sounds tragic but the burning of crop land is very common in the areas of Turkey we visited.
Mount Hasan (Hasan Dağ) in the early morning, viewed from the hotel. The last time this stratovolcano erupted was about 6,200 BC. Not sure if that's good - it's been sleeping so long it'll probably never wake up - or bad - it's been sleeping so long it's due for a big yawn.
Sally and Glenda chat at the top of the stairs.
This kitty was very friendly. I brought her a treat from the breakfast buffet.
The "lobby" of the hotel.
Always a big breakfast. Here, and in other places, we had cherry juice available for breakfast. It was kind of potent, sweet and tart, lip smackin' at times. A little went a long way.
We met and had a Q & A with the imam from the local mosque in Güzelyurt. I could tell he was a bit nervous. Who wouldn't be? But the convo was casual. Mine interpreted for us. He answered all the usual questions that Americans might have about Islam. He had a couple for us too. He's quite familiar with the Bible because Islam shares a fair amount with it. Islam also considers Jesus a prophet and holds Mary is particularly high regard. Sally asked him what most does he wants us to take away from this meeting and share with other Americans. Answer - the average Muslim is nothing like Fox News would have you believe. Yes, he specifically cited Fox News. Good for him. I wish all Americans could have a Q & A with a Muslim. Actually, any American could if they wanted to.
After talking with the Imam, we all took a walk around Güzelyurt. Hey, we're still in the Cappadocia region so people use lots of stone as a building material.
Behind this stone wall is a large garden.


Here we have another Gertrude Bell connection. This was the Church of St. Gregory of Nazianzus but is now a mosque. This isn't the original 4th century church but one from the mid-nineteenth century. T
he photo below is a photo of the church from the Gertrude Bell Archives at Newcastle University Library in NewcastleGateshead, United Kingdom. Here is the church today. Not much different from when Bell visited and photographed it.
Someone's yard next to the mosque.
The woodwork was really beautiful, the carpets colorful, and the natural light illuminated the whole interior.
Here we are a little closer to the woodwork and have a side view of the minbar.
I found this quiet niche. Not sure what it might have been used for during the church days. Still not sure what it's used for now.
I caught this local young man in a moment of quiet observation.
From the carefully patterned row of trees and the furrows in the ground, I'm guessing someone farmed this small plot in the not too distant past.
This young girl looked sad. She wasn't particularly on her way to anywhere, kinda just walking back and forth.
Back on the bus, y'all. Mine keeps us current on news of Turkey and the world as we travel to the greater Aksaray area.
Detail from the main portal of the Sultanhanı caravanserai in the village of Sultanhan, dating to 1229. Countless stopped here on the road between Konya and Aksaray. A caravanserai was a way station, an inn, a roadside motel for spice traders, vagabonds, brigands, soldiers, just about anyone who needed to rest after a long day's journey. Animals were brought inside too. Inside was food, trading, gossip, buying and selling of goods and wares, places to sleep, places to pray. Here's a brief video clip. Sorry for the shakiness.
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Here is the impressive main gate. Looks large enough for a camel, huh?
This stone structure is a kiosk-mosque. The mosque is on the second level. It's the oldest example in turkey.




For modern travelers, this restaurant-market across the street had everything we needed to make the next leg of the journey comfortable. I found the tasty coffee cake I had the morning of the balloon ride. I also found a great Turkish shirt, similar to the Nepalese shirt I have. Very colorful.
Don't need to know how to read Turkish to know that Nikon's D3 is super cool but very expensive.
OK, sorry it's blurry but I was shooting photos while riding on a bus. Her is my horoscope from the Turkish paper Mine was reading. Below is the very rough translation I got from an online translation program even though I typed the whole thing in one TURKISH letter at a time, cutting and pasting Turkish letters to compensate for my English keyboard.
"A family your individuals can come head today. Together become with the themselves and to does pleasant conversations at an house environment will very good come to the you. You can visit the pleasant moments at past repeatedly." I totally get it.
Here we have just arrived at the Shrine of Rumi in Konya. Jalal al-Din Rumi was born in present day Afghanistan in 1207. A scholar, a poet, a mystic, Rumi believed the path to God was paved with dance, music, love, and poetry. Rumi was a Sufi. Sufism is the "inner" Islam. Contemplative, very spiritual, letting go of the ego, striving to live for God, discipline and more will help you create a union with the divine. No photos allowed, sorry.
The Mevlana Order of Sufism was founded by the followers of Rumi. They are also known as the Whirling Dervishes for the dance that is the samāʿ , the ceremony performed as
dhikr, an Islamic devotional act, a remembrance of God.

Rumi did believe that God was found in one's heart, not necessarily in the mosque, the church, on the mountain top, etc. and he did have a tolerance for all, as in this piece of his poetry:

Whoever you may be, come Even though you may be An infidel, a pagan, or a fire-worshipper, come Our brotherhood is not one of despair Even though you have broken Your vows of repentance a hundred times, come.

Yet he still firmly believed in the superiority of Islam and considered himself a servant of the Qur'an.

It was just before entering the museum and tomb of Rumi where Sally had an accident. You are required to slip on plastic booties over your shoes to protect the carpets inside. The entrance way has marble flooring. Hmmm, plastic booties + marble floor = fracture of the distal radius. Her wrist swelled like an egg and she thought she'd pass out from the pain. But she made it through the whole exhibit. Very brave. We consulted the various docs and nurses on the tour, Aced it, and sallied forth, no pun intended, I think. The day after we returned to Seattle, she visited her doc, had an x-ray, and learned that she would make a full recovery in time.
Fish in the tank in the lobby. Two talking parrots also lived in the lobby.
The hotel in Konya was "business class" but I'm not sure what kind of business went on in this place. The room wasn't nice at all. The food, however, was really good. Yet another style of bread. Condiments included dried oregano, dried mint, and a crushed red pepper. We also had a small bottle of pomegranate syrup, almost like molasass, to pour on our salad like balsamic vinegar.

Return to Main Page or go straight to Day 8 - Antalya.
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