Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008 Konya

We arrived in Konya towards the afternoon after a bit of a stressful travel because the driver couldn’t get along with the people around him and the tour person leading the trip couldn’t get along with the driver and thus me because guess who knew Turkish and could translate and was only trying to help out? Me. So after a bit of an eventful trip where we also visited this really beautiful and old Seljuk wooden mosque (yes, it’s still standing, and it’s still beautiful) we arrived in Konya and went to our hotel, Hotel Dergah.

After putting our stuff down, we met with Prof Shields’ carpet-seller friend and he took us around to his workshop and also to the house of one of his carpet-makers where we watched a master artisan at work. I didn’t learn the name of the woman who was making the carpet for which I’m really sorry, but the work that she was doing was truly beautiful. After showing us the carpet-weaver, Mehmet (the friend) took us to his house where we saw his workshop where he makes the colors for the yarn used in he carpets and kilims he has.

Once we’d walked around and looked at the colors and taken loads of pictures, we went back to our hotel and split up to look for some place to eat dinner.

The next day, we had our day of touring Konya. We visited the tombs of Rumi and Shems, Rumi’s teacher. We also visited some mosques and a couple museums which were interesting, but after the grandiose city of Istanbul, there really wasn’t much to equal it in Konya. Rumi and Shems’ tombs were interesting to look at and compare—Rumi’s tomb has been converted from being a religious symbol to a marketed tourist place so it’s now a museum. Shems’ tomb however, is still pretty religious. Despite the tourists that were in Rumi’s tomb, you can still feel a bit of the interesting energy, and this energy was definitely felt in Shems’ tomb. Shems’ tomb was one of the few places in Turkey that we’ve visited that I just didn’t want to leave; I felt so much at home and at peace there.

Having exhausted Konya’s available tourist locations, it was time for dinner, and we were taken to a most wonderful restaurant where we had a delicious meal. We got to sit on the floor and kind of have a preview of how we would be eating at the village that we were to go to next. Dinner was simply delicious, delightful, delectable, and all other wonderful d words that I don’t know that explain to you, my avid readers, that dinner was seriously a most wonderful experience.

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