Central Anatolia - May 2008
Dear friends and family,
Yet another chapter in Sun Bow’s story of exploration and discovery.
One would think that after all these 31 years of visiting the Konya region, we would have seen all that there is to see.
Not true. This time we revisited a small mountain village (they remembered my visit over 25 years before), and for the first time, saw a fabulous and hidden water fall in the back country.
First the village of lower Eshmenler; there is also an upper Eshmenler, but we only drove through it. This is Mehmet Uchar’s village, and although he was not physically with us, he was very much a part of our visit.
Eshmenler is in the Toros Mountains, and is a typical example of local construction. The houses are mostly mountain stone, on narrow dirt streets, with smallish rooms and populated with upbeat and happy people. Children are everywhere, and very open and curious
In Lower Eshmenler, we were invited to take tea in the common room (all men, not a women in sight) where we spoke about the village.
The village is over 800 years old, and primarily agricultural: growing cherries and grapes as a speciality - we were given a huge bag of dried cherries to take home with us. And yes, they still “sun” kilims for the Konya dealers - although it was too early in the season.
From the village we drove to Shelalesi Waterfall...a short 40 minute drive through open country. What a treat! The falls themselves are horseshoe shaped with deep clear water, and flow amidst an undeveloped countryside. Aside from a few government-built picnic areas the land is pristine and awaiting a Five Star Restaurant and hotel.
Business was as good as always, although we did find different things this time: more Persian flatweaves, and very few extra large Anatolian village kilims. Prices were again reasonable. Given the strength of the Turkish Lira against the dollar, one would expect at least a 50% increase in buying prices. But thanks to the generosity and camaraderie of our Turkish family we were sold wonderful and valuable textiles for last February prices.
Our pieces are in process of being shipped as I write this. The tea is tasty and the stories are fresh.
We await the pleasure of your company
Saul, Stephanie, Barry & the Sun Bow Crew