27 September 2003 Saturday - Konya/Side/Antalya - 89 Photos

Today Mete picked us up at our hotel and we went sightseeing in Konya. As soon as I got in the car, I had to poke some fun at Mete. I told him that he lied to me, because "Yastik" doesn't mean pillow, it means "Rock." Then I told him the full story and he laughed.

Konya is the home of the Whirling Dervishes, or the monks from the Sufi order. We did so much, so quickly, that I might be mis-remembering things.

First, we saw a mosque where a bunch of Sultans are buried.

Next, we walked to see the palace of Kilich Arslan, which was almost completely destroyed.

Then we talked Mete into taking us into another nearby small museum that happened to be right there. The museum was not on the itinerary, but thankfully, Mete is good about granting our special requests like this.

We also saw the mosque of Aladdin, the Medrese of Karatay (The seminary of the slender minaret).

Next, we walked to the monastery of the Sufis

and saw the mosque and burial place of their founder, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi,

where several of his family members were buried too. The same building kept a box with Mohammed's beard inside,

and several very old handwritten copies of the Koran. There was also some information on how the Whirling Dervishes were taught when they joined the order.

Next, we ate lunch and hit the road. We had a very long, uneventful drive south through the beautiful pine-tipped mountains. The scenery was very pretty, with stark blue skies, stark grey rocks and stark green pine trees. At one point, we begged Mete to stop so we could take pictures.

When we got back on the road, we were passed by a bus that caught my attention. On the back was written, "Astral Tourism Services." Hey, I should have thought of that!

We drove to the sea town of Side, pronounced See-Day) When we got out of the car, we were amazed at how much more humid it was compared to Konya, where it was very dry and comfortable. Side was positively stuffy by comparison.

Side was an ancient Greek and eventually Roman town, and we stopped to see the ruins. We asked Mete to let us get out of the car so we could walk among the ruins for a while and Kathy found a small patch of mosaic tiles.  So many archaeology sites, so little time!

We also saw the Side Agora,

the Acropolis, the Theater

and the Temple of Apollo and Athena.

We even saw the ruins of another Byzantine church.

Next, we went to the museum, which had a small variety of displays and artifacts, including the bones of some poor dude.

I took lots of pictures.

We were pleased, and we told Mete how much fun we were having. He said not to worry, in a couple of days, we will be sick and tired of Roman ruins. Kathy said, "Don't bet on it." I'm not sure we can get enough of climbing on ruins of any kind, Roman or not.

Then we drove to the liberal coastal city of Antalya where we are staying tonight. At night, after Mete had dropped us off at the hotel, Kathy and I walked around Antalya. This was a scary adventure, because our hotel was in a maze of twisty streets, and it was dark, so we didn't even have the sun to help us get our bearings. Even Mete got lost trying to find our hotel, and had to stop several times to ask for directions, just a couple of blocks away from it. So when we started walking, we didn't know which way to go to find a good restaurant. We weaved our way carefully down the narrow streets and unsettling dark alleys, eventually settling on a restaurant which was good. Then came the challenge: finding our way back to the hotel. Somehow, we traced our path back and got to our hotel with a sigh of relief.

Tomorrow we see more Roman ruins.