"We heal ourselves with Your remembrance, and should we forget, we are in relapse" -
Jalaluddin Ar Rumi
We took Suha bus service from Goreme downtown to Konya. It was a comfortable 3 hours journey and that was the best option since there was no direct flight from Kayseri or Nevsehir to Konya. Flying from Goreme to Konya would require us to fly to Istanbul and then fly to Konya. But it was not a hassle traveling by bus as the service was excellent.
|The sculpture of Dervish perfoming 'sema'|
Konya is known to be one of the oldest conservative city in the world dating back to 5,000 years. In fact archaeologists in their excavation have shown that the region was inhabited as far back as the late Stone age of BC 7,000 and that includes the settlers of the Bronze Age civilizations like the Hittites, Persians, Romans and Byzantines. Around 50 AD, St Paul and St Barnabas came to the city in one of their journeys in Asia Minor. Konya first exposure to Islam was during the time of Caliph Muawiya but their adoption to Islam was after the victory of the Seljuks in 1071. I imagined Konya to be an old conservative city but indeed I was wrong.
As the bus approached Konya, I was surprise to discover that the city was huge, modern and clean. What brought me to this city was purely the fact that the renowned Sufi, Jalaluddin Ar- Rumi once lived here. We wanted to visit his tomb and some historical sites. We booked a hotel not far from Aladdin Mosque and pretty close to the shopping streets in Konya, so everything was in a walking distance.
The people we met on the streets were very friendly and some were exchanging smiles with us as a gesture of welcoming I suppose. Konya is very different from Istanbul, most of the women on the streets are wearing scarfs or hijab and as result there are many shops selling huge collection of beautiful scarfs. The scarfs are much cheaper than those in the Grand Bazaar in Istambul.
|The bus from Goreme to Konya is very comfortable|
|The spicy and greasy meal that brought my stomach upset|
|Busy streets of Konya|
|The bustling bazaar|
|Gold shops lined the street in Konya|