|Our first stop was a wonderful little village about 20 minutes out of Bursa. Cumalilizik Village has a unique culture with interesting wooden homes with the first floors often being shops. The village is on some very fertile land at the base of the mountain. The villages have homemade jams, pastas etc for sale. It really was a step back in time as we walked the cobblestone roads and saw the old buildings. Typical villages have a square cafe, and mosque. The village has become quite famous as it was the location of a Turkish movie.
From there it was a lot of driving - 400 km for the day. We stopped in Gordion to vist the burial mound of the Phrygian King Midas (golden touch) as well as a small museum. From there we headed off to Ankara which is the capital city of Turkey. Unfortunately we arrived too late to see much but it looked like a beautiful city.
Today's facts about Turkey - it is about 300,000 sq km, has 7 different regions but only one time zone, received about 500,000 Kurdish refugees from Iraq. The Ottoman Empire ruled for about 600 years and only went down after World War I. There are 74 million people in Turkey. Modern day Turkey was founded in 1923 and it is a secular nation meaning it does not depend on Islamic law but on the laws of different countries e.g. German, French Swiss, Italian. They have both a Prime Minister and President who is really the Head of State.
One of women on our tour is from Christchurch New Zealand. It was really interesting talking to her last night about her experiences with their earthquakes. Her home was virtually destroyed and friends of her daughter (also travelling) with us died in the quake.
One of the things that has already struck me about this trip is the deep history and how little history we have in Canada. Here we are talking and seeing things that are thousands of years old.