Day 10

1 08 2015

Another wonderful and jam packed day.  We left the flat valley of Konya and started to see the rugged landscape change around us.  We first stopped at the Sultanhhan Caravanserai.  It was interesting to learn about the towering structure and thick walls of 800-year old rest stop, a place where the merchants could be safe from the bandits and thieves of the region.  We climbed the stairs of the mosque and looked out over the surroundings.  We also learned about the storerooms, dormitory, and stables.  It was a peaceful place that put into perspective the power of the sultan and the route of the silk trade. There was an irony in the fact that we only had to cross the street to go to a modern rest stop to refuel on Turkish coffee, tea, T-shirt’s, music, and other modern artifacts and niceties.
After many more miles of travel in our luxury tour bus, we stopped for lunch at the Bizimev Restaurant, which was carved into the mountainside.  Here we enjoyed a delicious meal of beef stew, rice, and yogurt.  Next, we walked not far to Firca Seramik, also carved into the rock undergournd, where we were given a demonstration of Turkish pottery techniques dating back over 4000 years.  It was crazy to see the potter skillfully turn a block of clay into a traditional Hittite-style wine decantaur in a matter of minutes.
We spent the rest of the afternoon touring the natural wonders of the Cappadocia region, climbing around the natural pillars of rock (aka fairy chimneys), investigating the cave dwellings, and enjoying a glass of wine from a panoramic view of the surreal landscape below us.  We ended the day with a mystical look int0 the practices of the Mevlevi order founded by the famous 13th-century poet and spiritual Sufi leader, Rumi, with a Whirling Dervishes performance.  The performance took place in the Saruhan Caravnserai.  In this beautiful medieval settting, we were awe struck by the way the dancers moved with the music in order to honor and remember God.
We ended the night with dinner at the hotel and a lively band performing for a wedding that covered the entire patio area.  We are extremely grateful to see this new and exotic snapshot of Anatolia.

David and Dana



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