Last Day in Turkey

Ali from Güzelyurt convinced us to swing by his hometown of Konya on our way to Ankara. It was only two hours out of the way and we had an extra day so we figured what the hell. Ali went so far as to draw a diagram to show us at what table to sit in his favorite tea garden in Konya center.

Unfortunately, Konya was mostly unpleasant. The only bright spot of our time there was seeing the Mevlana shrine, which houses the tomb of Rumi and is the holy center of Sufism. Not that I know too much about the Sufis, but it was a beautiful space nonetheless. We missed the whirling dervish performance by a day. The rest of the city was charmless, carpet-salesman intensive, and felt strangely dangerous. A real step down from sleepy Güzelyurt.

Now we’re in Ankara, a city famed for its lack of attractions, tying up loose ends before our flight home tomorrow. My head is mostly filled with the logistics of our return, and I have little energy left to try to digest the experiences I’ve had so far. I’ll have plenty to chew on in the next few months: Turkey is the first Muslim country I’ve travelled through, and it was in many ways vastly different than anyplace else I’ve seen.

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