Friday 26th July 2013 - Silk Road in Aksaray

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July 26th 2013
Published: August 1st 2013
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Chinese business in Aksaray???Chinese business in Aksaray???Chinese business in Aksaray???

Chinese business in Aksaray???
Friday 26th July 2013

Silk Road - Aksaray to Kayseri

Joy of Joy - I have finally discovered evidence of the existence of the silk road in Turkey. So far in this blog, I have been reporting what looked like a holiday report - now I am pleased to write something about the silk road at last.

The day before I drove past a town called 'Sultanhani' - didn't think much of it because I was focussed on the town of Aksaray The night before I looked up the silk road in Turkey and noticed there were 'kervansaray' or 'Han' in Turkish. In English it means roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. There was a mention of a kervansaray about 40km away called 'Sultanhani'. Yesterday, I drove past one of the biggest and best restored kervansaray in Turkey - Doh!

I returned to Sultanhani and I had to asked the locals for directions, eventually I found it in the morning. I was so happy to see this kervansaray or han because it was for me the first piece of evidence of the existence of the old silk road. The building looked
Sultan han in AksaraySultan han in AksaraySultan han in Aksaray

Sultan han in Aksaray
magnificent from the outside and inside it was even better. I can see a glimpse of the past and I was touching and experiencing a little bit of history.
Inside the 'Sultan Han' (that is how the town got its name - sultanhani) I can imagine travellers arriving before sunset with their camels, horses, valuable goods to barter. These traders will eat drink and conduct their business in one of these rooms in the building. Just fantastic.

Having discovered one han was not enough, I managed to visit three on the same day.

The second han was called 'Agzikarahan' , han that is still being restored.

The last one was found by accident, my car suffered serious loss of brake fluid, every time I stepped on the brake pedal, I would pump brake fluid into the engine bay because one of the pipe was damaged. I had no choice but to stop at the third han to fix the brakes because there was little brake force left when I hit the brake pedal.

I paid the entrance fee to the Saruhan or Sarihan and luckily one of the staff called Ali spoke some English. I explained to him what my problem was and he said "don't worry, I will call a mechanic to fix your car". Ali said "are you thirsty?" Yes, was my reply. "Have some tea and water" said Ali. "Are you hungary?" ali said. I am hungary, not eaten anything all day. "Would a Sendveji (sandwich) be alright? Yes, I said. Another Ali made me a cheese and tomato sandwich. Soon the mechanics arrived to fix the brake pipes, and the car was ready for the road again. What a bunch of great guys at the han. Thank you very much the two Ali's.

After being watered, fed and car fixed, much like the original functions of the kervansaray, I was on the road again.

Additional photos below
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1st August 2013

In my recent trip along the Silk Road...
I never saw a caravansarai, much to my regret, as they epitomize the road to me. Just like you, I would have closed my eyes and imagined life in one 800 years ago. I've often thought that the concept should have been picked up by the hotel industry...more than just a motel, but a walled enclosed area with a courtyard.

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