News From the Sun Bow Front:
Dear friends and family,
Winter in Anatolia seems to be shifting towards a warmer approach. Barely cold, and very little snow on the Toros Mountains. Although the Salip sellers were out, and doing business amidst the cooler temperatures. We're told that the farmers are worried about the lack of rain, and that there is no snow to slowly add to the water table.
Once upon a time that would mean more kilims and carpets being brought in for sale. Now it just means that they are concerned, and have no more dowry pieces left to sell.
Still and all, we did find some yummy treasures: Caucasian sumacs, village carpets and kilims, and a few very interesting older pieces.
Click here for a slide show of images from the February trip
Also got an over due haircut in the Grand Bazzar. No extra charge for all the extra hair. I just love Turkish barbers.
Food in Istanbul:
we found a new fish restaurant - close to the Hali Otel (less than a 1 mile walk), and on the water - fresh fish with a view. Sur Balik Restaurant on Kennedy Cadessa. Great service, and the fish was good. We'll check it out again.
Khorasani (Grill) was up to their high standards, as was Cagaloglu Paksut - still the best breakfast in Istanbul. Their chicken soup with fresh lemon is to die for.
Ali Baba in Konya was also fabulous, as was Numan Usta, for their Arab Kofta.
(That's if you like your lamb slow roasted to perfection and finger licking good - they use their right hand to eat).
And, now to the 'market.' Turkey is still one of the major distribution centers for tribal rugs and kilims. However, the market is slow, and people are ready for 'cash buyers.' Some of the rugs we were offered were things we haven't seen in years.
And, some of their new production (with vegetable dyes) are spectacular!
We even met some old friends: Some we haven't seen for too many years.
Konya, of course, was good to us. Although we are noticing the decline in Toros Mountain weaving. Artistic examples are becoming more difficult to locate. Factory jobs have taken the women away from their traditional lives (including weaving). This has been happening for the past 25 years, and we are now seeing the results.
The square in front of Mevlana's tomb has now been opened (the old homes and shops have been cleared away), and the space that has been created only needs some hundred year old trees to make it feel comfortable.
Traditional Iznik tiles are now being made in Konya. These are made with quartz and super deep colored enamel. All hand made, and spectacular. A super find in a crowded warehouse district.
We are also awaiting the new fast train from Istanbul to Konya to start. We are told it may be as early as this summer. So much more comfortable and civilized than the plane - and almost as quick (after taking into account all the extra hassles on airplane travel these days).
Our shipments are in, moth proofed and ready for your enjoyment. The tea is hot, and the stories are all new and improved.
Awaiting your visit with great anticipation
saul & the sun bow crew