Fez Bus Tour - Olympos and Konya

Konya Travel Blog

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Olympos Treehouses

Turkey is quite a large country, so the schlep to Cappadocia took about two days, with some stops in between. The first stopover was Olympos, which sounds so fantastic and mythical from its name alone. Unfortunately, there is no heavenly abode of the gods in this place, just some treehouse-style hostels, which we came to call the "Hippy-Dippy Treehouses" because of the obvious clientele they catered to. Olympos was the hottest place on our journey. We were still close to the Mediterranean, but it was in a valley surrounded by high mountains, meaning there was NO air movement, no wind, no refreshing sea breeze. So whoever thought of putting accommodation in trees, where the heat RISES, was probably smoking too much nargile.

Lake Egirdir
Because of the insufferable heat, paying extra for a treehouse with A/C, and the communal nature of the place that caused Jon to go into Cartman-esque anti-hippy tirades, this was far from an enjoyable day. The one attraction the place does offer is the Chimaera eternal flame but we were so frustrated and exhausted that we stayed in our overpriced 30YTL air-conditioned treehouse instead.

We spent the day driving to our next overnight stop at Lake Egirdir. This town was quite the opposite of Olympos. The air was cooler, the atmosphere more relaxed and quiet. There wasn't much to do apart from walking around some lovely gardens. We used the time to rest up for the last leg of our journey towards Cappadocia, via Konya.

My planning skills failed me the following day.
Mevlana Mosque
Knowing full well that Konya was a conservative Muslim town, I pulled my cute blue halter dress out of my luggage to wear and spent the day trying to keep my knees and shoulders covered in the 40 degree heat. But they did let me in to the Mevlana Mausoleum with no problems, where we saw some interesting religious artifacts. We also snuck a peek into the nearby mosque, although I was never quite sure of the protocol – do I use the women's entrance, am I covered up enough, etc. But the mosque and mausoleum/museum were a fascinating look into the lives of the Mevlana Whirling Dervishes.

We were back on the bus after a few hours, with one more stop at a large caravanserai and then another several hours of driving. The thought of being along the Silk Road was so exotic and fascinating.
Silk Road Caravanserai en route to Cappadocia
We did have to pay a small fee to get inside, but you could really get a feel of what the Silk Road traders experienced so many centuries ago.

You might think a tour with so many hours on a bus would be boring, but the landscape is so interesting and always changing. From the olive groves of the coast to the scattered caravanserais on the Anatolian plains and finally to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, there was always something new to see. The Turks even had fake police car cut-outs along some of the stretches of highway to discourage speeding, which were really amusing, We drove by farmers selling their fruits, veggies and nuts, craftswomen with specially-made dolls bought mostly by tourists, and many sprinklers that appeared to be watering the pavement, which considering the drought-like conditions of the area, was actually a bit disturbing. Finally we began to see the landscape change yet again with some unusual rock formations, and knew we had finally reached our destination.

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Olympos Treehouses
Olympos Treehouses
Lake Egirdir
Lake Egirdir
Mevlana Mosque
Mevlana Mosque
Silk Road Caravanserai en route to…
Silk Road Caravanserai en route t…
Interior
Interior
Konya
photo by: herman_munster