Friday, 1 November 2013 – En route to Cappadocia we visited Mevlana Museum in Konya. According to Lonely Planet, “the main reason to come to Konya is to visit the Mevlâna Museum, the former lodge of the whirling dervishes”. Followers of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, known simply as Rumi in English, formed the Mevlevi order after his death. Devotees believe that music and dancing help them to focus on the divine.
Although the mausoleum was beautiful, the most interesting part for me were the classrooms. Small rooms, each with one door, one window, and one fireplace, were used by one teacher and one student, at a time.
Further along the road, we stopped in Sultanhani to see a caravanserai. Caravans would travel the Silk Road, a part of which cut through Turkey. It was not safe to travel at night, so high-walled fortresses were built so that caravans could come inside. Half of the caravanserai was open courtyard for summer and half was covered over for winter. The high, vaulted ceilings in this section were black from centuries of cooking fires. Huseyin told us that each caravanserai was a one-day ride by camel from the next.
We reached the Hotel Peri Tower (ranked #1 of 12 hotels in Nevsehir on Trip Advisor) in time for dinner. “Peri” is the Turkish spelling of ‘fairy’ and is an apt name for this whimsical hotel which mimics the rock formations known as “fairy chimneys”. We had an early night due to the fact that we had a pre-dawn appointment with a hot air balloon.