We reached Konya that morning after 8 hours of bus journey. We checked-in a hotel in town and continue our discoveries in Turkey. First we went to Alaeddin Keykubad Camii. Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad was the ruler of Seljuk Imperial. According to the history, during the conquer of Constsntinople, Bursa (Sultan Mehmet 2) was helped by near by Islam rulers, including Seljuk. Seljuk rulers originated from the Iranians and the Afghans, was founded during 1220. So, the mosque we visited combined the architecture of Iran and Afghanistan. Next to the mosque, was the remaining of Seljuk Palace and in front of it was the Alaeddin Hill Park. The scenery were fantastic from every angle of the hill. Then we visited Sarafeddin Camii, Semsi Terbizi Camii ve Turbesi, Iplikci Camii, Karatay Muzesi, Mevlana Muzesi and Selimiye Camii. In addition we were told that people in Turkey especially those in Konya honoured Mevlana Jalaluddin ar-Rumi. Mevlana was the person who taught them about Islam and Semsi Terbizi was Mevlana's teacher.
Karatay Muzesi was an old school converted into a muzium.
Semazen-the sufi whirls.
Named after Mevlana, the founder of Sumazen.
We were told to leave the hotel early in the morning. We took a bus to Nevsehir, 3 hours journey from Konya. From Nevsehir, we took a jeep touring around in Cappadocia. We started a panoramic view of whole Cappadocia near the Pigeon Valley. We told the history from the very beginning formation of all Cappadocia region. Then had our buffet lunch at a restaurant in the Pigeon Valley.The panorama were captivating! Our tour in Cappadocia consisted of historical places such as Avanos, Pasabaglari, Devrent Valley, Urgup, Urgup Wine Cellers, Uchisar Castle, Goreme Open Air Museum and Goreme Panoramic View. Cappadocia is very famous for its pottery, in addition to its scenic view. We really enjoyed this adventurous tour and oh...there was a funny story while touring in Cappadocia that I wanted to share with you! While journeyed on from our last spot to Nevsehir Bus Station, which that I was sure everybody started to feel tired after a whole day seeing the mountains and canyons, Azzahra started to turn on her MP3 in the jeep. Well, it was not too loud, enough for the six of us to hear the songs played. As the driver heard another music source being played, he turned of the local radio channel. Among the early songs are songs by Maher Zain and everyone started humming those songs except Nawal, who was eagerly looking outside the jeep, digesting the view of Cappadocia. All of a sudden Nawal asked me, "Is Maher Zain a Turkish?" I raised my eye brow at her and said, "No, he is not." A few minutes later, there was a very familiar song Muhasabah Cinta by Edcoustic, reverberated in the air. She turned to us again with a surprised expression, "What? How could Edcoustic be in a Turkish radio?" Everyone exchanged grin, looked at Nawal and laughed!
Cappadocia in memory.
Last night was the longest journey we had to take while in Turkey. 11 hours of bus ride! Alhamdulillah everything was fine and we reached Istanbul on schedule, 7 a.m. We went to Paris Hotel and Hostel again and checked-in for 2 nights. This day, we did not do aggressive tour. I guessed everyone was tired after such a long ride. So, we went to visit Sultan Mahmud 2 Turbe (The Tomb of Sultan Mahmud 2) within a walking distance from the hotel we were staying. Then, we did massive shopping at Kaparli Carsi! Oh my...really I don't need to tell that it lasted for hours! Everyone enjoyed shopping. Well, I can say, over enjoyed. I bought some t-shirts, key chains, leather bags, apple tea packets and some souvenirs. Our Turkce skill improved abruptly here. Bu ne kadar? Su ne kadar? Bir lira...iki lira...uc...dort...bes...altir...yedi...sekiz...dokuz...on...and the list goes on.
The Grand Bazaar, most favourite place *winkwink*
This day was among our last time in Turkiye, specifically in Istanbul. Starting from the dawn till the night fall. It was the 'Building Day'! Oh, by the way, there are three must visit highest standard buildings in Turkey: Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Sultan Bayezid 2 Mosque and Sulaymaniye Mosque.For the beginning, we visited Ali Pasa Camii ve Medresesi, which was an Islamic school during the Ottoman Empire.Then we went to The Tomb of Sultan Bayezid 2 together with Sultan Bayezid 2 Camii, Sultan Suleyman Turbesi, Mimar Sinan Turbesi and Rustem Pasa Camii. Mimar Sinan was a very well-known Osmanli architect for his unique architecture. After that we continued our journey to Eyyub Sultan, visiting Eyyub al-Ansari Tomb, Zalmahmut Pasa Camii and Tomb of Abu Derda. We had our lunch in Eminonu, with the yummy smoked Tuna sandwich! From Eminonu, we took a cruise along the Bosphorus, the Istanbul Straits that formed the boundary of Europe(Thrace) Turkey and Asia(Anatolia) Turkey. Those parts were connected by two bridges, Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Bridge.From here, you could see the nicest view of Turkey! Really, I never lie! After such a splendid cruise, we visited Eminonu Yeni Camii, then to the Spice Bazaar just next to it. If you go to Spice Bazaar, never leave without a box of Turkish Lokum! On Our way back, we stopped on Karakoy and visited tombs of another two companions of the Prophet, Sufyan bin Uyeyne and Wahab Husyairi.
Rustem Pasa Camii- decorated by unique tiles.
Eyup Sultan Camii ve Turbesi.
Abu Derda Turbesi.
Eminonu Yeni Camii was built in 1597.
That morning, we went to Hippodrome. Ust. Hazimin told us the day before that 'Hippo' means 'horse'. So, the Hippodrome was an arena of horse, for chariots racing. There, the photography session seemed to begin...again! Then we went for a quick last shopping at Kaparli Carsi...again. Lastly, we checked-out at 1200 to the Atarturk Airport, with the memory of Turkey. Gule-gule, Turkiye!
Orme Dikilitas-Walled Column