Through the mountains to the sea

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Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Antalya
November 1st 2011
Published: November 2nd 2011
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Today was a long travel day as we left Cappadocia and crossed the Taurus mountain range, which is part the same range that the Alps and Himalayas are part of, and came to the Mediterranean Sea. Our only tour stop yesterday was to visit a 13th century caravanserai, a stop on the Silk Road for the camel caravans.

The Silk Road extended from Xi'an China to Rome. However, it would take 3 yrs by camel to cover the complete route, so everyone just traded along the way. There are 140 caravanserai in Turkey, but the one we saw, called Sultan Han, is the largest one left, built in 1229. It was sort of an inn. The caravan drivers would stop for the night and sometimes do trading with other caravans. If they did trade there, it was tax free. When the arrived a record was made of all the people, animals and goods with the caravan, and if anything was stolen or damaged, the Sultan was expected to pay. It was an insurance policy long before Allstate. The Silk Road route was very active in the 12th and 13th century but it's use declined due to the increase in sea trade.

Along this lengthy drive, our guide shared some superstitions of Turkey to keep us entertained.
- Never file or cut your nails in public, cause it will bring bad luck.
-Don't exchange sharp objects directly with someone, just lay it down and let them pick it up. They believe you will fight if you do.
- Don't compliment someone or say something positive because it will turn to the negative.
- Don't say "ummm". It's a female sexual organ.
- Don't say "I am sick". Sick means either a male sexual organ or what you do with it.
- They have great respect for their elders and would never sit cross legged in front of them, and make no major decision without their input.

We also learned there the sugar they have comes from the sugar beet since they have no sugar cane. It is not as sweet so you have to use more to get same sweetness we are used to.

We drove through Konya, one of the oldest cities in Turkey. St. Paul visited here in his 2nd trip to Turkey. The Seljak Muslims made it their capital. It is said that the most conservative city but has the highest alcohol consumption, so the rest of Turkey calls them "the part time Muslims".

Our guide secured an ocean view room for each of us but it wasn't until this morning that we saw how beautiful itis at the location because you can see the Turkish mountain range in the distance.

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