Wherling Dervishes

Trip Start May 09, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Arctic Hotel

Flag of Turkey  , Bursa,
Saturday, May 29, 2010

This morning we left Istanbul early to catch a ferry to Yalova and then a bus to Bursa.  Bursa was a teeming, noisy, dirty city which didn't appeal to me at all.  It was Saturday and the whole city, which is apparently the 5th largest city in Turkey, must have been out shopping. 

On the city orientation we were taken to a shop which sold shadow puppets.  The shop was jammed full of everything under the sun including these shadow puppets.  The traditional puppets are made out of camel leather and then painted.  The owner of the shop then treated us to a short puppet show.   Bursa is famous for its silks and all the group went shopping for a silk souvenir and of course at the same time we took in the local mosque.   There were also lovely fruit and vegetable markets however I didn't really like the feel of this city.We stopped for lunch and had an Iskender Kebab which apparently originated here in Bursa.  I don't think I will be ordering one of those again.  
The evening was very interesting and full on.  First of all we went to a tea house where the men (of course no women except us) get together and play turkish music.  Our host Mamout played the ney which is an instrument made out of bamboo similar to a flute.  We sat down to a glass of turkish tea and they gave us a wonderful performance on the ney, drums and stringed instruments and one of our group, Isabella from Brazil, joined in and danced in a lovely supple South American way.  

Then we were invited to dinner in our host's house.  We were then served a very typical and tasty meal beginning with lentil soup, followed by a tasty casserole of meat and aubergine and tomato accompanied by buttered cracked wheat and a green salad.  We finished off with turkish pastries.

After this we were invited to a Sema meeting.  Sema is a semi religious sect which has its roots in Islam.  They believe that everything in the universe spirals around God and that in their spinning and spiraling Dervish dance they become closer to God.  I am attaching some photos of both the turkish music session and the Wherling Dervishes.  I also have some videos but I am having trouble loading these, so will load them at a later date when the internet connection is better.
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Karen Clark on

Hi Caroline,

Love the cat of the day pictures! We are really enjoying reading your blog. Glad you have a good group with which to share all your experiences. Look forward to your next adventure.


carofoley on

Hi Karen

Glad you like the cat of the day. I am enjoying finding my special one every day.

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