Burton Dane Travels

We're traveling through Europe and parts nearby for a year. We'll be posting our pix and adventures here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Whirling from Today to 7000 bc

Konya is ground zero for the fascinating belief of Sema, or whirling. Disciples are called Dervishes and they believe since so many things in our world revolve, so should they. The leader of this sect, Mevlana, would describe his beliefs in poetry couplets while entranced in Sema. We were able to wander through the now museum (former headquarters) to see not only his sarcophagus but leaf skeletons inscribed with golden characters, and The April Bowl (collected spring rainfall is believed sacred).

We took a taxi to the ancient city of Catal Hoyuk, that dates to around 7000 bc and were delighted by the construction of the homes. There were no front doors, the entrance was on the flat roof and accessed by ladders. People and animals roamed there, popping in and out of doors in the roof. They believed in being close to their ancestors too and kept them close by planting their bones in the floors of their dwellings, sometimes underneath the dining table. We wandered in this active archaeological dig with the best audio guides thus far, alone through 3000 years of human history.

Thought that was enough? I did too but we decided to take a bus to a restaurant in Sille (yup, pronounced silly) for dinner. Buses in Konya are an adventure so after seemingly missing bikers and cars along a dark, windy road the restaurant appeared and we got off, really wondering if this was a huge mistake. The place came to life when we walked in and soon was feeding other diners delights unfamiliar but wonderful. The staff even walked us to the “bus stop” we would have never found on our own! On board the bus, a quiet ride back and the bus driver, like many on our trip, noticed Ben and gave him a gift of his prayer beads.

Wow, what a day.

A few times a day an adult cups Ben’s chin, squeezes his cheeks and murmurs some adoring words. It’s very cute and he endures it well. We think he’s part of the reason we get such a warm welcome here.

Ali, the proprietor at the Otel Ulusan in Konya, spent a couple of hours planning our trip with us. It was fun to hear his stories and plan to make some new ones of our own. He also helped arrange a taxi to Catal Hoyuk and had free Wi Fi in the otel. Another good stay.
So now we’re on a five hour bus drive to Antalya, a seaside town near Olympos. We’re passing through some dry, snow covered mountains. Small, fertile fields near a stream have been recently planted. The rock is green, making us wonder if they are the source of some of the original copper smelted. The locals are using a mix of medium sized tractors and donkeys to work the fields.
We’ve now surprisingly transferred to a local bus to take us the last 75 km to Antalya. We’re in a new climate with palm trees, broad plateaus and wide, slow rivers. It’s much warmer and we’re down to shirts. Maybe we’ve seen the last of winter.


  • At 11:43 PM , Blogger Greenwalds said...

    I'm confused about your path. You flew into Istanbul (North), were in Goreme (Central), then the southern coast (Chimera) and then inland and north a little to Konya, now heading back to the Southern coast?. Can you please get a map and marker and write your path (with arrows), take a picture and post it. It's heard keeeping up with you movers.

  • At 9:01 AM , Blogger Burton Danes said...

    I love it...... Jules and I wondered if anyone would catch that. Actually, we went Goreme, Konya, Antalya, Cirali and now Pamulkkle. It's really a pretty direct path, I just posted the last three in reverse order and don't see an easy way to fix it. But I like the idea about the map. I was gonna do it in Google earth but you need to pay for the professional package..... I almost did. WIth it you can do real video effects just like CNN (and Al Jazerra).


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