We were driving south on one of the few freeways in Adana, Turkey. Suddenely, to our right the Sabanci Mosque appeared across a river. I know that Turkey is famous for the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia but why in the heck did they never mention the Sabanci Mosque on the Travel Channel? It is by far the most striking of the three. The grounds are tranquil even though they are surrounded by busy city streets. I'm a member of the LDS church and I felt many of the same feelings as I walked across the grounds of this sacred place. It's a gorgeous piece of architecture and really was the highlight of my brisk trip through Adana.
Before going there, three things came to mind whenever I thought of Adana. One, my brother Cameron stopped there on his way to Afghanistan. He is in the service and they let him off base there. He found it "dusty" and full of street urchins. Two, a family in Provo was stationed there for a few years. Her current home is decked out with eye catching, exotic looking decor, furniture, and trinkets (all from Adana). Three, my friends' in-laws moved there from Antalya.
I suppose the main reason for our stop in Adana was because it was a big city on the way to our final destination, Gaziantep. But, what my husband was really excited about was the famous "Adana Kebap". He describes it as such: "A spicy slab of ground beef roasted on a barbecue". It is available in Istanbul but according to Jonathan "In Adana it was better and cheaper".
When we found our hotel, we pulled up alongside it and Jonathan ran in to bargain a price. We sat in the car, our butts numb from the drive, and watched the bustling city blur by. It was just the right time of day. Between 5 and 7 in the evening. The sun gives the southern Turkish city a nice tint from that angle. Short palm trees dotted the street edges. Very manly Turkish men with their pointy leather shoes, belted jeans , button up shirts, of course with two or three of the top ones left open to expose their hairy chests, and their five o'clock shadowed faces stood around comfortably near their shoe stands selling shoes in front of the hotel. All kinds of people walked past in both directions. Covered girls, all kinds. There are several kinds of covered girls whose classifications must be left for another day. Business men, young girls with their lace up converse shoes and skinny legs, grandmas with their grandchild clutched closely by, goofy boys guffawing about some humorous remark, and old men with canes and their Islamic caps shuffle by. A bustling city, with a desert feel. Jonathan thinks of Beirut without the Arabic. I think of Las Vegas without the trashy people.