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We basically lived on the Turkish roads en route to Konya that dusty summer in June. From day to night, from 7 to 7, we sat in a van named Vamos that transported us from Cappadocia to Pamukkale via Konya.

Throughout the 12 hours journey I slept loads; dozing off every now and then, waking up to see peaceful hilly scenes of soothing greens that faithfully stayed on my left before I knocked out again.

Somewhere in between we passed by a large wide field of white flowers dancing in the sun overlooking the endless stretch of mountains – the kind of scene that would simply light up a bright smile on anyone’s face.

During our third and last stop I learned that they are Opium flowers and their seeds, are completely legal here and taste heavenly with honey and yogurt. During our road trip break, Ai Rene’s husband, Huseyin, bought me a packet at Dinar Sanayi, as I left my wallet in the van and Jamel, our driver was away smoking his fag stick. You know a man is good when he takes care of his wife’s friends too.

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Konya is said to be most conservative city with the most covered women, yet with the most alcohol consumed. Despite being a huge city, the architecture of the houses here makes it look more like many little pueblos (villages) combined into one big town.

When in Konya, there are TWO places you can NOT miss:

1. The 13th century Seljukian caravanserai, named “Sultanhan”

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Built by the saljuk Turks, the most impressive part of this caravanserai is its stable, which can fit 700 camels! It also had a Turkish bath, a mosque in the middle and bunk beds for the merchants; though the poorer guys had to sleep next to the camels. Imagine that! Needless to say, many movies were shot at this location.

2. Mevlana Museum 

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I was told that green in Islam means paradise and that under this green dome, people were buried during a time when Mevlana Rumi’s father was highly sorted by the Saljuk, as he came all the way from Afghanistan to Konya to spread the religion. Here, 2 books were written in Farsi on how to be good people.

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You may have seen or heard about the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey before. There is more than just a dance to this figure and art. I learned that at the Theological School of Whirling Dervishes, the darwish danced from material life to mortal life, mixing their body with God to come back as one again.

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Each dome in this museum was called the suffering room. The first few days surviving in here is difficult (there are a total of 40 days) i.e. the sects had to put a stick under their jaws to sleep. Mevlevi members would also be present to insult them everyday to see if they can withstand it.

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{Pictures depicting the hard life as a darwish FTL}

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Given by the sultan, this place was initially a rose garden, then graveyard, now museum since 1926.

Hours of more driving later, we finally arrived at ‘the cotton castle’:

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{The Slip LBD fashion post here}

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To be continued . . .

 

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