Konya was only a couple hours a way. En Route, we stopped at the Underground City, the Sultanhanni Caravanserai, and the Alaettin Mosque. The Underground City is exactly what it is as described. Linked caverns where people lived for months at a time. There were kitchens, sleeping chamberns, and a church. Even ancient plumbing and well systems!
The Sultanhanni Caravanserai is the largest and one of the oldest car\vanserai’s in Turkey. The great room in the back of the caravanserai still carries the smell of animals. If the door was closed, we’d feel as if we were instantly placed in 1911… and we’d be blind because the windows, while there, were really high up and small.
Years ago, they were carved out for defense purposes more so than lighting purposes. The windows built in a fashion as most where someone from the inside could fit in to chuck arrows out, but someone from the outside would have to be a baby to fit in from the outside. Maybe babies were the arrow of choice…
After, we were off to the Alaeetin Mosque. The Mosque featured beautiful tile work in it’s dome in the mehrab. Unfortunately, the tile itself was damaged over time and painted motif of what it would have was put in place. The tile must have been beautiful as the paint was awe inspiring. This mosque was used by the Sultans and their tombs are found in the outside courtyard.
It had been a long day and we were ready to settle into the Rumi Hotel. Even if only for a second, to see what the city of Konya had to offer. But, I didn’t walk around too much in Konya. The city was ultra conservative and had more of the vibe of serious everyday working people. In other words, the kind of people that are annoyed by the presence of herds of tourist walking around looking up and looking for answers from God.
I headed back to the hotel and rested a little. We’d be going back out to see Sema, the Sufi ceremony, better known as the Whirling Dervishes.
The Dervishes aren’t a ballet troupe, but a group of followers of Rumi that will sometimes allow people to watch how they pray and get connected with God. It feels like ballet because it is a synchronized and elegant display.
Afterwards, it had been a 14 hour day so we had to call it quits. Tomorrow we’d go to Rumi’s Tomb and a couple more museums.