As always, click on any image for larger view.
|Mom and daughters at weekly market|
I feel like a Chatty Kathy today so this posting is probably much longer than it should be. Yesterday we shared a rental car with friends Ruth and Randal on M/V DORA MAC and set out for a day of sightseeing in the nearby mountains. Our first stop was the city of Muğla (pronounced MOO-lah), which was is the capital of the province and region also called Muğla.
|Saw 2 Porsche Panameras in Mugla -- diesel!|
This was a great destination for a day trip. Muğla is situated at medium elevation in the mountains about 50 kilometers from Marmaris. The drive up is mostly on newly constructed smooth wide highways and the views are splendid. We had no idea what to expect to see but had looked forward to enjoying a day away from touristy Marmaris and away from the marina. We were tired of seeing bare bellies and tattoos on fat 'down-market' British tourists that fill Marmaris.
And Muğla did not disappoint. Muğla was originally called Alinda and dates back as a city to 1200 B.C. I'm not going to relate the history of this place, other than to mention than Tamerlane tore through here in 1402 and restored it to the emir of that time. The Vakiflar Hamami (Turkish bath) located here dates back to 1258 and will still give you a steam, wash, dry and nap if that is something that appeals. (We are not interested in having a Turkish bath anywhere.)
|Found the store where those|
"he-she' guys must shop.
We saw transvestites on bus in
Marmaris, which surprised us
considering Turkey is 99%
|Lead domed mosque|
|Ceiling inside lead domed mosque|
Next we walked back to the ultra-narrow street area that we had earlier driven through. Searching for some particular old Ottoman homes and a certain mosque that we had read about. As we stood in a little park-like square trying to decipher maps I noticed a small mosque right next to us that had a dull-finished nondescript dome. Uhhhh........could that be lead on that roof? One of the mosques listed in the tourist brochure is commonly referred to as the lead domed mosque. The real name for this mosque is the Kurşunlu Mosque (pronounced kur-SHOON-loo). It was built in 1493 and originally had 2 smaller domes on either side of the larger lead covered dome.
|Inside lead domed mosque|
The other 2 domes were removed during a renovation. In 1900, during another renovation, a narthex was added to the mosque. There used to be a 30-roomed Muslim Theological School inside the mosque. But judging from the size of this mosque today, that theological school must have been prior to a renovation that apparently made the mosque complex smaller.
|Mosque upper side.|
Why a boat?
|Upper corner inside mosque.|
Why a boat?
|The other 2 upper corners had images of vases of|
We really were violating the Islamic traditions by entering the mosque as were were dressed. Neither Ruth nor I had our hair covered (had no scarves with us) and Bill and Randal were wearing shorts that did not cover their knees (which is a big no-no with Muslim men). I'm sure we insulted the old man but he was very gracious about it.
|Prayer mats stacked in corner in|
case you forgot to bring your own.
There are many mosques in this city; the oldest having been constructed in 1334 A.D.; but the lead domed mosque was the only one that interested us. What luck to have just happened upon it so easily! The interior of the lead-domed mosque is painted bright white. Vividly colored paintings contrast on the bright white background. This is very different from any other mosque that we have seen anywhere. Unique.
|Women's prayer area|
|Outdoor ablution area for the mosque. Notice the 2|
women enjoying a picnic lunch in the corner.
Back outside the main domed area is the woman's prayer area. Just a curtained off corner. Gotta keep those women in their proper place.
Ruth gave the little old man a few lira as a donation to the mosque. Not sure that the message got through and maybe the little man thought the donation was for him. Whatever. It didn't matter.
|Outdoor clothing market. Just like Mexico.|
We walked through a small remote section of the Thursday Market areas. First was the clothing for sale. Vendors were set up for a couple of blocks near the mosque and took up most of the street area. Ruth and I each found a couple of items that were bargains.
|This was the tiniest woman imaginable.|
|Men socializing playing a domino game of some sort|
We continued wandering the tiny old narrow streets. The weather was mountain cool, as compared to the sea level Marmaris extremely hot; and we all enjoyed walking around. On one narrow street we chanced upon several groups of tables occupied by men playing domino games of some sort. And some playing a card game of some kind.
|Men socializing. Women not|
There were no women present on that street and I felt a bit uncomfortable walking through there because it appeared to be a male gathering place for socializing. Women are not usually welcomed. No one gave me any dirty looks but no one gave any welcoming looks either.
|Tiny blacksmith shop|
|Except the blacksmith was really|
One of the places was like a tiny blacksmith shop. Something that you might have found several hundred years ago. Outside the tiny shop the blacksmith had placed shiny pots, pans and metal bowls that he had made. Oh! So he isn't a blacksmith. He is a cooper. Like stepping back in time.
|Husky crossed our paths several times.|
Notice the unique chimney tops
|Figuring out the map in old Ottoman section|
|Winding narrow streets in old Ottoman housing area|
A couple of women with a little girl came to their doorstep to smile and wave to us as we walked by. I motioned if it would be okay to take their photo. They nodded but one woman motioned for me to wait while she re-arranged her headscarf. They seemed friendly and as if they rarely saw tourists walking past their door.
|Women waving to us as we walked through their neighborhood|
|Ruth in front of Lamb's Doors. These open into a|
courtyard behind this wall. Then the house is farther in.
|Public community water source. These spigots are|
seen all over Turkey. The water is safe to drink.
Back down the little hill we wound and happened upon the intersection where the old clock tower was situated. The clock tower was built by a Greek craftsman named Filivari Usta in 1895. It is near the old quarter.
|Old Clock Tower|
The old quarter slopes around and consists of about 400 registered old houses dated from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which are restored. These houses are mainly in the Turkish/Ottoman style and are characterized by hayat (courtyard) sections accessed through double-shuttered doors called kuzulu kapi (lamb doors) and dotted with chimneys typical of Mugla. There are also a number of Greek style houses, white washed and angular.
|Held the camera up over a wall and snapped this shot.|
Turned out to be an old cemetery.
The chimneys typical of Muğla are constructed of brick and have little huts on top on all 4 sides. We have seen a few of these around Marmaris, but this style is peculiar to Muğla. We saw these all over the city and also in the village in the old ruins that we visited later in the afternoon.
|Massage your head|
|Massaging Bill's head.|
It really tickled!
|Baker making snacks|
While Ruth and Randal shopped in the novelty shop I entertained myself watching a baker make some of the little snacks that are popular in this area of Turkey.
|Finished product. Yumm!|
|Window shopping for guns. Very unusual guns.|
|Examples of how to modernize the female headscarves|
After snacking on these (whatever they are called) we decided that we really needed a bit more to call it lunch. So we found a short block with tables set in the center beneath trees. Small cafes or restaurants lined each side. We opted for a table in front of a tiny cafe that served nothing but Turkish meatballs. These are called kofte and are like a small meatball that is flattened before cooking on a flat grill. Remember, no one here speaks English. Bill asked the waiter: meatballs; moo? meatballs; baa? The waiter nodded and said: meatballs; moo. Okay, we will try 2 servings of beef Turkish meatballs and share.
|The little kofte cafe that serves meals in the street|
|Randal and Ruth at lunch|
These were served with finely sliced greens of some kind tossed with finely sliced onions; about 70% onions and 30% greens. Topped with 3-4 slices of fresh tomato. Topped with 2 grilled very hot long thin green peppers. And thick bread slices that had been heated on the grill in the residue from cooking the meatballs. Very simple meal.
Perfect after snacking on the greens/cheese/tortilla things.
|Weekly Thursday Market|
Walking back toward the otopark we sought out the big Thursday Market. This was the largest weekly market we have ever seen. It went on for blocks. There were a few clothing vendors in one section, but mostly it was produce of all kinds. Table after table, vendor after vendor, for blocks. It was covered and quite comfortable walking through there.
Bill found a vendor with a small amount of broccoli and I bought slightly more than 1/2 kilo (about 1.4 pounds) for a whopping 50 cents.
|Little kids sleeping while mom sells veggies|
|Brown figs!! Wish I had bought a few more.|
|Girl eating a fig. Her mom on left wanted me to pay the|
girl for taking her photo.
|I love the expression on this little girl.|
Notice that those are very full dropped crotch pants that she is wearing, not a skirt.
|Friendly women and children at the market|
Farther down the way we found a few more little girls sitting on a Turkish carpet. They were really cute and Ruth started to snap their photo. One of the little girls ran to her mom the retrieve her baby sister. Everyone was friendly and smiling and no one asked for money for taking their photo. I hope this expecting payment for photos does not become the norm for this area. For now, most of the locals don't mind if tourists take their photos, as long as one asks first.
|Bill loves these peppers!|
Think he found a large enough bag?
When we reached the fish section of the Thursday Market, we all decided we had seen enough.
|They sell millions of these large|
red peppers. Not hot.
|Can you identify the green veggies for sale? Hint: okra on right|
and chard on left.
If they also had a wet market section, I wanted to skip that part. Don't need to see or smell any hanging meat today. We exited the market area and soon found our parked car.
|Wish I knew what this is. It is sold everywhere and|
often served in cafes and restaurants.
Next on the day's itinerary would be a small village some 40+ kilometers distant. A place none of us had ever heard of before going to the tourist office in Muğla. The tourist offices in Fethiye and Marmaris did not have information or pamphlets for this place. We were headed to Stratonikeia. That will be a separate posting.
|Peppers are very popular in Turkish cuisine. Here is a selection spread|
on a table at the weekly market. A very popular dish is to stuff the
small very thin-skinned bell peppers and serve cold as a starter to a meal.