Day 6 Konya

Trip Start Jul 02, 2013
Trip End Jul 13, 2013

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Flag of Turkey  , Konya,
Monday, July 8, 2013

Coming off of a long late-night van ride, everyone slept well and rested up. New town, same running group. 3 laps around Aladdin Hill the historical and geographic center of Konya. Great way to get to know the city.
Konya is Turkey's equivalent of the Bible Belt. Very conservative in dress and customs. We notice that, despite the heat, every woman has head covering, a long dress, and a heavy coat. We are the only people in town wearing shorts!
After breakfast at the hotel we left for a different kind of journey. We arrived at a few miles outside of town. Very interesting school. The site was a shopping mall until 3 years ago when it was torn down and a university established. It is named after the famous Turkish poet Mevlana (also known as Rumi).
We had the college tour including the Med School and Law School and then were treated to a fascinating lecture on the life of Rumi by Dr. Tarik Quadir, a professor at Mevlana. We had lunch in the school cafeteria and then each of us was "partnered with" 2 or 3 high school students who were there attending summer school for a cross cultural chat. Despite the language barrier we had a great time and made new friends.
Our next stop was to a Turkish sacred shrine, the Tomb of Rumi. There we learned not only more about Rumi but also the history of the Whirling Dervishes, mystics who pray by continually spinning.
Following Rumi, we made a short visit to a Felt Art House. Here they design and create beautiful felt artistic products. Great craftsmen. We then travelled back to downtown Konya to visit Aladdin Hill and the Aladdin Camii mosque, the most important religious building in Konya. During our visit there was a call to prayer and many townspeople came in to pray.
We also had the opportunity to reunite with our other Turkish/American friends, Neset and Fatma Ulusal and their beautiful baby Cevdet.
We were scheduled to have dinner with a local family but the plans changed so we enjoyed a fine meal at our hotel. Before turning in we returned to an outside cafe on Aladdin Hill for coffee.
Tomorrow promises to be a memorable one- the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy period. Mehmet must get up at 3am to eat and pray and then fast until after sundown. Very difficult during these very hot days
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Bette Ann on

Love these blogs! So much information on such a beautiful and historic country. Keep them coming! Love all the pics!! L mom

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