us at the caravanserai as our travelers hear stories of the
powers and romance of Perfume
mere river of water can be compared to this perennial stream of
the caravans, that has carried a half of human history from
stage to stage, from wasteland to wasteland and climate to
climate, on the puny strength of men."
Rome on the Euphrates
and Traveler 1893 - 1993
will get me to the mountain of Myrrh and the hill of
Frankincense". (Song of Solomon)
Caravan Trade Route, the sky is our Map and Calendar
As travelers on
the caravan, the night sky is our map and calendar. The phases
of the Moon and the Constellations foretell the time when we
will arrive at our next destination.
Caravan stops at the Nexus of Two Major Trade Routes and it is
here that our journey
Here we join
other travelers along the two oldest trade route, the Silk Road,
(also called the Spice Road) from the Orient, where the east and
west meet at Anatolia,
Built around 1400 by the
fierce and powerful Tamerlane, the magnificent Registan is the
most famous landmark in the mysterious city of Samarkand, the
jewel of the Silk Road from Europe to China
camels and horses are fed and watered and we visit the baths, we
join the others. For three days we will have food and
drink, a bed and shelter. Our shoes will be repaired and our
horses will be re-shod as a courtesy to travelers by the
Turks. They offer us this protection as they want to
stimulate trade by insuring safe travel along the trade routes.
We Stop at the
Oldest Caravanserai along the Caravan Route
We are staying
at the oldest Caravanserai along the trade route, the
Ribat-I-Mahi Caravanserai. It was built by Gazneli Mahmet
between 1019 and 1020 on the Tus-Surahs road here in Anatolia,
It was built
eighty years before the Crusades in Jerusalem. The Holy Land was
still held by the Arab regimes. It was before the time of
the great English King, Richard the Lionhearted.
Now it is the
year 1293, almost at the end of the Crusades.
In 1099 the Knights
and the Knights of St. John begin escorting
Christian Pilgrims along the European routes to the Holy Land
during the First Crusade.
It is after the
time of Saladin, the Kurd who
became the Sultan of Egypt and retook the Holy Land from the
Christians in 1187. Saladin's reputation in Europe as a chivalrous
knight is celebrated in the14th century epic poem about his
He was the only Muslim referred
to in Dante Aligheiri's "Divine Comedy" as one of
the "great hearted souls", a figure "solitary,
was recognized, even by his opponents, for his knightly
courtesy, piety, and justice.
Now it is
the time of the last crusade.
caravanserai's were meeting places for an exchange of ideas and
spiritual traditions, as well as trading goods. They were
fertile places for the seeding of new ideas and an exchange of
information about beliefs.
Rumi, born in 1207 in Tajikistan, and a life long resident
of Konya, Turkey, lived during this time and often used the
image of the caravan in his mystical
come, whoever you are
Worshiper, Wanderer, Lover of Leaving,
Ours is not a caravan of despair
Though you have broken your vows a thousand times...
Come, come again, Come.
We Meet with
Other Travelers to Trade Stories
Caravan Route is our Map and the sky is our Calendarai.com