Antalya to Konya

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April 15th 2011
Published: April 15th 2011
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Today started better than how yesterday ended. The sun was making an effort to break through and the Mediterranean was looking calmer. It was a fairly strong wind last evening and the sea had quite a chop.
Our journey today took us through the Taurus Mountains climbing to nearly 2000 metres before arriving at Konya which is situated in a very large valley 1000 metres high.
On our trip today we stopped at Aspendos to explore the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. Minor restoration work has been undertaken to maintain the preservation. Climbing the many steep steps certainly gives you a great work out but the view from the top is worth it. You can just imagine 16,000 cheering Romans during a performance, be it theatrical or gladiatorial. The theatre was built during Marcus Aurelias’ time.
From this stop it was time to head for the mountains. What incredible views of rugged limestone and granite rock outcrops. By the time we reached the summit we were above the snow line. The local people had obviously spent time over years (maybe centuries) building terraced fields from the countless amounts of loose rock wherever possible in this mountainous region.
Once out of the mountains we had our lunch break and drove on to Konya, a city of one million people. This area had a great religious tradition and it was here that the whirling dervishes had their beginnings under the religious leader Mevlana.
We visited the Mevlana Museum and admired the intricate calligraphy that decorated the walls and ceiling. No photography allowed so we must keep the images to ourselves. Local women seemed to be on a pilgrimage and were moved to tears and prayer by what they were experiencing.
We had a 30 minute drive to our hotel, a 25 storey building looking like an oasis on the edge of the city. The city appears to be coming to join it. Our allotted room on the 8th floor had a very bad cigarette smell. We were not going to put up with it so a quick, firm discussion with reception had us relocated to the 19th floor. The view was stunning (pictures tomorrow). At dinner we drank a toast with tour friends to our new grand nephew and family in Brisbane. Good Turkish red wine to help us welcome little Luka.
Tomorrow we are off to Cappadocia.

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16th April 2011

Thanks for today's email. Yes an unpleasanmt rolling shake last night & was pleased to have my niece here. A friend arrived just as the quake stopped & H was very shaken. We enjoyed an extra glass of vino then a good meal together. My Niece was off to early morning duty. My brother-in-law's birthday so have been to them at Brookhaven where the roads are very holey & more liquefaction. Had egg cartons to leave at the Gardens for Kidsweek & what a challenge finding my way home from there, had to retrace my steps going down Durham & Tuam Sts. Lots out looking & search people everywhere assessing any further damage. Love to you both. Ann

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