The whirling dervishes
Konya Travel Blog› entry 522 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Olcay, Kadir and Mustafa (Turkey)
I had expected Konya to be slightly colder than the South coast, but i hadn't realised just how cold it was going to be. I departed my bus from Silifke at 19.45 and after calling Olcay i stood waiting for a dolmush to take me to his house and i thought that my hands were going to drop off in the meantime. Konya bus terminal is located 14kms out of the centre, which is already pretty inconvenient, but Olcay's house was actually another 25 minutes ride further than this!
I got off the dolmush at Kayalar Mosque, which is located near the University and i knew which house to go to as Olcay and one of his flat mates Mustafa were flashing the living room light to get my attention.
It was great that the guys had central heating in their house and it made for a comfortable nights sleep. The only thing that did disturb me was the muezzin making his call for prayer at silly o'clock, which had me cursing for a few seconds until i fell back into a deep slumber. Finally i got up at 10.30, and found all the guys had already departed for University, as they had a day of exams ahead of them.
At 11.00 i caught the bus into the centre, which took about 50 minutes, and i was astounded at just how spread out Konya was. The road was a three lane highway, so we made pretty good time, which makes me think that the University must be at least 30kms from the centre.
Located in the middle of Aladdin's Hill is the aptly named Aladdin Mosque, a creation dating back to 1221 and authorised by the Seljuk Sultan of Rum, Alaeddin Keykubad I. By coincidence i had arrived at prayer time and as i find it quite therapeutic to listen to Muslim prayers, i sat myself down and watched the daily rituals been performed. Once the prayers had finished, i went to look around the Mosque, which had an ornate Mimber and Mihrab and plenty of marble columns forming supports. Outside the building were two large tombs dating from Seljuk times and known as turbes.
Exiting the Mosque i went and bought a kebab and a carton of ayran and took a walk towards Konya's star attraction, the Mevlana Museum.
I was quite impressed that entry to the Museum was only 2YTL ($1.25), as i had expected to pay at least 8YTL, but they had actually dropped the admission over the last year. To be honest though, unless you have some special affiliation with Rumi, its not really worth more than 2YTL. On show was the tomb of Rumi and dozens of other Sufi mystics, a diorama and lots of memorabilia about the dervishes. From the outside, i found the blue dome the most attractive feature of the architecture, although the ablutions fountain was also pleasing on the eye.
Located over the road from the Mevlana Museum was the Selimiye Mosque, which was constructed in 1567. I had a quick look around it and then randomly wandered off around the town, as i didn't really have anything else that i was keen on seeing. I managed to fix my walking boots in the bazaar, chat with a carpet seller whilst drinking apple tea and find out about buses to Egirdir. Another kebab was consumed along with some pistachios and then i went to use the net for a couple of hours before returning home.
As the guys all had exams the following day we planned on having a quiet night in, but after some time we all got a bit bored, so went to the shop and bought some beers. As only Olcay spoke English in the house, it was a bit hard to communicate with the other guys, but beer always seems to find a way to overcome such obstacles. With the help of Olcay as translator, we managed to chat about a few things such as the History of Turkey, the problems between Israel and Palestine and of course football, before retiring to bed at 01.00.