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Konya, Egirdir

Written on: Friday September 26th, 2014

A journal entry from: Europe 2014

Moving on we headed for the city of Konya which is about a 4 hour bus ride from Goreme. We went there for two reasons. One to break up the long bus ride to the coast and two to experience a Turkish city a little off the beaten track. We did manage to ditch western tourists but ran smack into a number of tour groups from Turkey itself. It turns out that Konya is a place of pilgrimage for the whole Muslim world largely because it was the home of the celebrated Muslim scholar Melvana,  founder of the whirling dervish sect. This, the most pious of all Turkish cities, also boast the highest consumption of Raki (an ouzo-like alcoholic drink). The city managed to provide an authentic Turkish experience from the crazy traffic, to the beautiful monuments, and the surprisingly modern and bustling city centre. Prices as well dropped dramatically from very expensive Istanbul and moderately less expensive Cappadocia. 

After two days in Konya we boarded another bus and headed for a place that could be termed it's polar opposite.This would be a small town by the name of Egirdir situated on a vast lake by the same name. Although in the summertime this place could possibly be overrun by mobs of visitors, at this time of year it is  wonderfully quiet and peaceful. The area itself reminds us of the Okanagan Valley with its beautiful blue lake ringed by apple orchards (no vineyards as yet) and towering mountains. The town's Turkish market reminded us how far from home we are and not in an altogether bad way as the fruits and vegetable we bought there were the tastiest we have ever encountered. Egiridir as it turns out finds itself on the St. Paul's trail, a 500 kilometre hike through the Taurus mountains. We managed to do a very small section on a one day hike and the scenery was outstanding.Time is short however, and we had to leave the remaining 490km for another time.