This year is the 800th anniversary of the the birth of Mevlana so it was with great anticipation that 20 local residents embarked on the 2nd Annual trip from Fethiye to see the Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya.

This year is the 800th anniversary of the the birth of Mevlana Celaleddin –I rum (1207-1273) and UNESCO designated 2007 as the Year of Mevlana so it was with great anticipation that 20 local residents embarked on the 2nd Annual trip from Fethiye to see the Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya.

Despite torrential damaging storms that had prevailed during the previous few days; we departed on the morning of 6th December in great spirits on a dry road with good visibility. The journey to Konya is a long one and part of the pleasure is the fantastic scenery to be experienced on the way.

The route took us via Burdur and Isparta on through the beautiful Turkish Lake District. We stopped at Egirdir for lunch – sadly the skies were not promising enough to enable us to eat on the lakeside but we all found Lokanta’s offering authentic Turkish dishes and service with a smile at prices that puts Fethiye to shame. Those of us who had not anticipated the considerable cold of higher level terrain also bagged a few bargains at the local market in the shape of hats and gloves! As our journey continued towards Konya, higher ground and the previous weeks bad weather conditions brought spectacular snowy vistas. 
 
{mosimage}Our second stop was at the Esefroglu Camii at Beyshehir. Built in 1297 by the local Seljuk ruler this is a beautiful wood framed building, totally jointed with no nails were used in the construction. The roof is supported by 42 cedar tree trunk columns carved with decorated capitals – well worth a visit.
We arrived in the late dusk just before prayer time and were able to experience the beautiful interior of this ancient and historic mosque before completing our travels to Konya.

This big bustling city is very busy and our 4 star hotel was hard to find – we had almost got there when we were flagged down by a very well dressed man who explained that he was from Fethiye and could he help us? The kindness and generosity of perfect strangers in this country we have come to call home never ceases to amaze me. But low and behold – in front of us was our lovely warm and accommodating hotel and right opposite was a huge modern shopping complex which would rival those in Istanbul! It even had a Marks and Spencer!
 
The evening was spent discovering local eateries and an advance party did the decent thing and went to investigate the shopping centre while the more sensible of us sat in the bar drinking excellent wine and enjoying the opportunity to exercise our tongues. All in our world was perfect!