Turkey was our first country to go to in Asia. We took a ferry boat over from the island of Rhodes in Greece. The ferry ride was approximately an hour or so. While sailing into Asia, my first thought was “the mountain range seemed different from the Greek mountains.” We sailed into the port of Marmaris and the water did look very turquoise to us.
There is actually a stone called Turkey turquoise and I will always now think of Turkey’s water having a very turquoise tint. The tour in Marmaris offered a variety of things to see and experience: a visit to the Gold Center, a Persian rug factory, a Loukoum factory and a Turkish bazaar.
I had been told for years that the gold in Turkey is exquisite! We toured through it and admired the unique settings of the gold jewelry. The ads of American celebrities plastered all over the Gold Center was interesting to me, as we don’t see these ads in the United States. The rug factory was a favorite for my youngest son. He sat and watched the ladies at their looms for an hour straight—just fascinated at her technique.
I bought two kilims from the rug factory and was so ecstatic to take them home in their own little duffel! The loukoum factory was fulfilling for us because when we used to read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” I used to tell my sons that the Turkish Delight that the White Witch would feed Edmund was probably a loukum!
Although we’ve had many loukoumia in Greece, going to our first loukum factory was unique! They make the loukoum in the traditional, 800 year old method like they did for the Sultans years ago. Turkish Delight used to only be for royals; not commoners. We watched them string the cubes and dip them which fascinated us. We tried a Turkish gyro which has cabbage in it unlike Greek gyros. Lastly, we heard a call to prayer for the Muslims who prostrated on their prayer mats at 3:00 pm. to pray together in the square. There are many styles of rugs, kilims, etc. The rug factory tour explains the differences in detail. They are all works of art! to learn about kilim symbols, click on this link: http://www.thefolkartgallery.com/newsletters/turkishnewsletter/visuallanguage.htm
- Suggested reading:
- Mosque by Macaulay
- The Hungry Coat- A Tale From Turkey by Demi
- The Hero Schliemann by Schlitz and Byrd