Hotel in Konya www.dervishotel.com
Esenler village is situated in the Taurus Mountains 125 km south of Konya. From the village can be seen fascinating views of some of the peaks of the Taurus. Over the years many families have left the village and moved to the city. Those that remain have a lifestyle centred mainly on agriculture – although the land is elevated and there is limited land for cultivation, the area of Esenler is well known for its grapes which are mostly dried for raisin production. Some families care for goats and sheep but even these are not numerous because of the lack of large grazing areas. The families are generally poor, but very friendly.
Wandering around the village you can see evidence of nomadic life. For some nomads still overwinter close to Esenler. When you walk through the mountains you are able to see reliefs and other stone carvings left from Byzantium times and earlier. Some of these carved stone figures have been used by the villagers to decorate the fountains. Close-by are the Sinat ruins, once a large Byzantium settlement, where the people made wine and felled trees for ship-building. The Archaeology Museum of Konya has some beautiful carvings of lions and other figures taken from this ancient site.
When you visit Esenler you can stay with families for very little cost. You will have the chance to learn about village life as well as some aspects of nomadic life. Almost every day a small bus leaves Konya for the village at 1.00 pm from the bus station near the markets – not from the main bus terminal. The village is a very safe place to stay in, but you would be advised to take strong walking shoes for the rocky and dusty roads. The villagers cook traditional foods. One notable dish eaten almost every day by every family is bulgur. Traditionally with the meals ayran is drunk and after the meal one is offered fresh Turkish tea or coffee.
The weather during the summer time is very pleasant. Because it is elevated, Esenler avoids the baking heat of the Konya plateau. During the winter it snows and sometimes the roads to Esenler are blocked because of the snow.
© Copyrights 2002. silkroadrugs.com Photos; Chana Rees. U.S.A
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