Travelogue to Turkey - Part V- Journey to Konya
It has been sometimes, since I last post my travelogue. It's not that I've stopped writing. I stop temporary because busy with my hospital duty. Then, I start writing back until I nearly complete my part V. But unfortunately something happen, I accidentally deleted the whole thing which I have written including the latest write up as well as some of the notes I've written when listening to explanation by my tour guide in Turkey. Innalillahi wainna ilaihi raji'un. Everything has gone in a split second and I can't retrieve it and there's no back up for my last part. Alhamdulillah...At least the previous part I have entered it in my blog. So here I am again, try to build up my energy and start writing. Basically what I am going to write is just based on my memory and some of the photos I have taken during my journey as well as some input from the wasapp group which I still keep it. So wish me luck this time.
Travelogue to Turkey- Part V
D5- 25th March 2015- Pamukalle--> Konya
We're going to go through a long journey today. It took us roughly 5 1/2 hours from Pamukalle to Konya, in which we were going to visit Mevlana museum. From there we continued our journey to Cappadocia which took another 3 hours. In view of this, we had to start our journey earlier than usual. If we started late, we'll reach Cappadocia late.
So this time, the instruction from our tour leader was...breakfast at 6 am, luggage in front of the room at 6.30am and we're leaving at 7am. Estimated time of arrival to Cappadocia roughly around 7pm. It was not that difficult to arrange an early time for us to start our journey. Being with a middle age group participants won't be a problem...most of us already woke up early for Subuh prayer. Everything seemed to be perfect.
At 6am... It was already bright in Pamukalle. Even though the hotel chef might had served a variety of good food for breakfast according to his standard, I still couldn't acquire the taste. So my routine breakfast would be boiled egg, coco crunch, and some fruits. I took extra apple as a snack to eat in the bus later. I didn't pack any Malaysian food to bring along during this visit. Firstly, because I did a last minute packing and secondly, I heard that there's no problem with food here...Yup...it's true that it's not a problem to get a 'halal food' here, but I forgot about my problems with foreign food. My eyes suddenly filled with joy and happiness when some of us started circulating 'Malaysian food'...including serunding, sambal ikan bilis and even nasi lemak Brahim segera pun ada. Terbuka selera kejap....😋
While eating, I had an opportunity to ask Hjh Shalina regarding plan for hot balloon ride tomorrow and whether it's going to be safe. According to her, so far, with the experience from the previous groups, it was safe and the participants enjoyed it so much and gave a positive feedbacks. Furthermore, the so called pilot won't fly if the weather was not suitable and the ride will be postponed. I was warned by Ida not to join the hot balloon ride because of the incident of there're people died following the hot balloon ride. She knew that I had a tendency to try this...so she warned me even when we were in Malaysia. I, on the other hand thought...why not. No harm trying anyway...if you're going to die, it didn't matter whether on the ground or on air. Anyway...after listened to what Hjh said, I had made up my mind..."Yesss....Cappadocia here I come...😃"
We started sharp at 7 am. Outside temperature ranged about 9-11 degree celcius. It was relatively colder than usual. It was raining on and off along the way to Konya. As a routine activity, brother Anas will recite a doa once we start our journey, hopefully the journey will bring barakah from Allah s.w.t and always under His mercy. Our tour leader asked how many of us were interested to join for the hot balloon ride for tomorrow. Finar had to make a reservation on the number of who would like to go. Only 5 of us will go and took the challenge. It was predicted tomorrow would be a good day to fly based in the weather forecast.
Our journey was quite smooth. With the feasibility of on board wifi in this bus (even though on and off it was interrupted), it gave me time to go through emails from hospital and answered some important one. When it came to email regarding GST which is going to be implemented on 1st April...I just tried to put it aside first and didn't want to spoil my holiday mood. At the same time updating my facebook and communicating via wasapp. On and off I tried to pay attention to what Finar said and jotted down some information which I considered could be beneficial later. I had always tried to write when I went for a trip like this. I remembered I did exactly the same during the trip to Morocco- Spain. Some of the notes were still available in this iPad. But it just stayed where it was...hehehee. This time I'll try my best, even though I knew I was not a good writer. Anyway there's always a first time in anything we do and this time I'm willing to the challenge. A friend of mine always encouraged me to write especially when my memory is still fresh. In the bus, I started writing few paragraphs of this travelogue...however found it quite difficult to concentrate writing while travelling.
Worth mentioning here was a boy who had become one of important group member. He's 18 years old, a special kid who joined this trip along with his parents and other relatives. I guessed, he's autistic child. His name's Fawzan. Sometimes he was on his own world, keeping quiet and talked to himself and sitting alone at the back seat of the bus. Sometimes he laughed and appeared cheerful and adorable. His trade mark was 'ada roti canai?. This, he will ask to his parents whenever we stopped for a break. Frankly speaking when I heard he's asking about roti canai...in my heart I was also craving for roti canai. We just laughed at him, because we knew it's hard to get a piece of typical roti canai here. I found Fawzan had no problems with food...saw him enjoyed having coco crunch as his meal and the best part when he didn't want to take anything else, his parents will always had a stock of Maggie cup for him...while we were 'enjoying' our Turkish dish... Hahahaa..Who ever he was...He definitely had made our trip more enjoyable and meaningful with his attitude.
We enjoyed the scenery along the way with the view of mountains with snow capped. There were areas covered with snow even on the ground, but not much, since it was at the end of winter season. We stopped for about 20 minutes halfway to Konya for toilet and coffee break. Hjh Shalina suggested us to try the yogurt here. It seemed this's one of the specialty here. It's a mixed of yogurt, honey and poppy seeds.
Once we reached there, everybody run toward the 'bayan' and paid 1TL as the entry fees. Understandable enough, being in the bus for hours in a cold weather... Hahaa. Since so many were queued for toilet including visitors from other countries, Ida and I tried the yogurt first. In my mind I was thinking with this small amount of the poppy seeds, will I get high...😉. A little bit about poppy seeds. Other name for it is kaskas. It's widely used elsewhere in their cooking. In Malaysia, at one point there was news claimed by certain groups of people mamak restaurant put poppy seeds in their food, which made people craving for mamak food. Wallahu'alam. With the small amount of it, InsyaAllah it won't cause harm to human. Anyway the taste was ok...but I could only finished less than half of it and passed it to some one else.
From there we continued our journey to Konya. Along the way, Finar mentioned about the story of Jalalluddin Al-Rumi who was regarded as an influential Sufi and also important person who was claimed as a founder of the brotherhood of the Whirling Dervishes. I will elaborate about Al-Rumi later once I come to the section of visiting his mausoleum which then converted into a museum. If you think Malays involved in a lot of superstitious and khurafat....You will be surprised with the Turkish people...I guessed in some of the areas they're equal if not worse than us. Some of them still inherit it from pagan or Roman's belief. One of their beliefs was about the evil eyes. So they will hang or stuck an evil eye protection symbols at every entrance or in front of their houses. Even in our bus, there's an evil eye protection symbol stuck near the driver seat. Almost all the souvenir shops, you can find wether the fridge magnet or keychain will have the evil eye protection symbol...that's one of the reasons I didn't buy any of these things this time... Hahaa. Wait...Don't get me wrong, as a Muslim, I believe in evil eyes. Remember in surah Yusuf (one of my favourite surah) when Nabi Ya'qub told his eleven sons to enter the city from different gates as a precaution to avoid from jealousy eyes...so evil eyes were real. However, Islam used Al Quran as the way to prevent or protect us against the evil eyes such as reciting ayatul kursi or the 3 'Qul'...We as Muslim asked protection from Allah, not from a sticker or a symbol which has no power at all.
We reached Konya about the lunch time. Finar said, Konya is the fifth city in Turkey (don't ask me what are the other four... I guessed after Istanbul, Ankara & other 2 bigger cities). She also mentioned, this's the most religious city.. Since it's the area where Jallaludin Al-Rumi practised, spread his Sufism and subsequently became a place for the Dervishes. (If you considered it to be really religious...which I have my own argument on believing this). This city also is famous for its university...according to Finar one of the biggest university for medical school in Turkey. It was the capital of Anatolia during the Seljuk empire... You need to have some reading on this if you want to know more. And of course, here we're going to visit Jalaluddiin Al-Rumi mausoleum and museum later.
We stopped for lunch here. I won't touch about the kind of food we had, because it's quite typical and standard. After lunch we took ablution in the restaurant, preparing ourselves for jama' prayer in nearby mosque. The restaurant owner or may be one of his workers was proudly showed to us the photos hang on the wall, the prominent people who came and dined in this restaurant. He even offered to show us the walking path to the mosque. But, being Malaysian, we rather used the service of Mustafa to bring us to the mosque by bus and declined his offer politely...😁. Some of us had a photo session with him in front of the restaurant.
The mosque was situated just next to the mausoleum of Al-Rumi. The bus parked at quite a distance from the mosque, so we had to walk about 5 minutes from the bus to the mosque. It's Selimiye mosque, which was started build in 1558 during Sultan Selim was a prince. It was completed when he became the Sultan. The architecture of the mosque was almost similar to other Ottoman mosque you could see in Istanbul. It had been renovated several times before and during our visit, it's the fourth times of renovation. After finished praying, we waited for the rest at the square located in front of the mosque while seeing the Turkish people. We admired their dress, it looked stylish...suitable for their climate. If we were to use the material and trendy clothing they're using
in Malaysia... we will then be considered as mad...😝. Some old Turkish lady wearing a pants which looked like a skirt or sarong...the kind that popularised by Afdlin Shauki...Hahaa...he might have got the idea from these Turkish makcik. Anyway it looked very comfortable. After everybody had gathered at the meeting point, we walked together to the Mevlana mausoleum/ museum.
I will stop here first...because the part of Mevlana Jallaludin Al-Rumi needed its own chapter to write. I am just afraid, I accidentally delete my work just like before..so I'll write it part by part.