We then made a very quick trip the Mausoleum of Ataturk – the father of modern Turkey and very much a hero still today. He was the guy in charge of the Turks fighting at Gallipoli – apparently that was the only battle the Turks won – he became a national hero. But he did more – he had a vision for the country of Turkey to change from an Arab nation to a more western. He changed everything – education system, alphabet, dress code, freedoms. He made Turkey a secular state rather than a Muslim country. He was apparently a very well read man, read about 4,000 books in his life, and had 10,000 books in his library. But the thing I found interesting about this is that he wrote notes in the margins of the books as he read sharing his thoughts and reactions. No wonder he was an visionary.
We then headed down toward Cappadocia – in Turkey this is said like Kap-a-doe-key-a. This was a 5 hour drive. On the way we stopped at a salt lake – 65% of Turkey’s salt needs come from this one lake. We stopped and walked out on it and took some fun photos. We were greeted by a barrage of young men insistent on putting a dab of salt on our hands – they then demonstrated how to rub our hands – as if we were washing our hands, then they led us to a hand basin and had us wash our hands in warm water. Our hands felt wonderful! They had lots of salt health and beauty products there – we succumbed to the hand, feet and body wash.
A bit further down the track we stopped at a caravansary – as I explained it to Daniel – like a caravan park for the camel trains that the merchants used on the old Silk Road. There were two parts – a summer and a winter part. Either way the animals and merchants slept together. In the middle was a special room up high for the Sultan should he ever travel on this road.
Then in Cappadocia. Amazing. But more about that tomorrow…..