The city of Prague is one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations, famous for its lovely architecture, world-class museums, and eclectic cuisine. In this post, we highlight some less-known and alternative…
A thermos flask is a great way to keep your drinks hot or cold when you’re on the go. They’re perfect for taking coffee on a road trip or keeping…
A thermos flask is a great way to keep your drinks hot or cold when you’re on the go. They’re perfect for taking coffee on a road trip or keeping water cold during a hike. Thermos flasks use vacuum insulation to maintain temperature, and they’re made of durable materials like stainless steel that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Plus, they come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for something small enough to fit in your purse or large enough to share with friends, you can find a thermos flask that’s perfect for you. So next time you’re planning a trip, make sure to pack a thermos flask and enjoy your drinks at the perfect temperature.
Below you’ll find a list of budget-friendly thermos flasks you can get on AliExpress for less than $10.
When it comes to packing for travel, there are a few things that are essential: a comfortable pair of shoes, a good book, and of course, a reliable way to…
When it comes to packing for travel, there are a few things that are essential: a comfortable pair of shoes, a good book, and of course, a reliable way to keep your devices charged.
With all of the different types of chargers on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. If you’re looking for a charger that is compact and easy to use, then a wireless charger is a great option. Simply place your device on the charger and it will begin charging automatically. No more searching for outlets or dealing with tangled cords. A wireless charger is the perfect way to keep your devices charged while on the go.
A wireless charger also doesn’t have to break bank! Below you’ll find a list of great wireless chargers that you can get on AliExpress for less than $5;
Trakai is a small island located in Lithuania, perhaps best known for its castle, which was built in the 14th century and is now one of the most popular tourist…
Trakai is a small island located in Lithuania, perhaps best known for its castle, which was built in the 14th century and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The castle was once the home of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and it played an important role in the history of the country.
The island is home to several hotels and restaurants, as well as a number of historical landmarks. Visitors to Trakai can enjoy stunning views of Lake Galve, swim in the lake, or hike in the surrounding forests. In winter, the lake freezes over and people come to ice skate on it.
How to get to Trakai from Vilnius
Trakai is a lovely town located about 30 kilometers from Vilnius, so a perfect day trip from the Lithuanian capital! While it’s possible to drive there, the best way to get to Trakai is by taking the public bus or booking a tour.
Going to Trakai from Vilnius by bus
All buses depart from the main Vilnius Bus Station. The buses run regularly and the ride only takes about 45 minutes. Plus, it’s very affordable – a one-way ticket will only cost you a few euros.
Another option is booking a tour and learning a bit more about the history of the place. It’s also easier reaching the castle this way.
Going to Trakai from Vilnius by train
Another option is to take a train which is also a clean and comfortable way to go there. However, trains might not be super reliable as they have less frequent departures compared to a bus. You can get tickets on the official Lithuanian train website.
Going to Trakai from Vilnius as part of a tour
If you don’t wanna deal with researching for train or bus options, a great idea would be going to Trakai as part of a tour. The journey will be more comfortable and you’ll be able to learn more the different ethnic groups that settled in the area but also discover thea area around the castle in greater detail.
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations. Located in the Dalmatian region, the park is home to a series of cascading waterfalls that are fed by…
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations. Located in the Dalmatian region, the park is home to a series of cascading waterfalls that are fed by the Krka River. Visitors can swim in the river’s pools, hike through the park’s forests, and explore its medieval monasteries. The park also offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Split or a longer excursion from Zagreb, Krka National Park is definitely worth a visit.
How to get to Krka National Park
The best way to reach the park is by car or bus. Buses operate daily from Zadar, Split, and Sibenik, and there is also a regular shuttle service from Skradin. Once you arrive at the park, there are a number of different ways to explore its many attractions.
Another option is to book a tour so you don’t have to worry about figuring out the transport to get there and how to buy entry tickets.
Best time to visit Krka National Park
The peak season for tourism is July and August, when the weather is warmest and the days are longest. However, this also means that the park will be busiest during these months.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit Krka national park is in May or September. The weather will still be pleasant, but there will be fewer tourists. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the park in all its autumnal glory.
What to do in Krka National Park
There are a number of different things to do in Krka national park, and visitors can easily spend a day or two exploring the area.
Hiking in Krka National Park
One of the most popular activities is hiking, and there are a number of different trails that wind through the park.
These are the most popular hiking trails:
Skradin Bridge – Skradinski Buk Trail
Lozovac – Skradinski Buk Trail
Goriš – Torak Trail
The list, however, is not exhaustive. You can check all the amazing trails here.
Boat ride in Krka National Park
Visitors can also take a boat ride down the Krka River, which is one of the most popular activities.
Nestled in the heart of the stunning Krka National Park, the Krka monastery is a must-see. It’s the most significant Serbian Orthodox monastery in Croatia founded in the 13th century. Visitors can admire its architecture and take a leisurely stroll through the grounds.
Where to stay in Krka National Park
There are a few campgrounds just outside the park, and they’re all well-maintained. The most popular ones are:
Camp Skradinske Delicije
If you’re looking to stay somewhere more spacious you’ll need to look for nearby cities such as Sibenik, Lozovac or Skradin.
Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but…
Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but it’s equally interesting to locals. It’s hypnotic, unusual and, in a way, calming. Yes, we are talking about the whirling dervishes.
Their authentic dance is a mixture of meditation and a religious ritual. In the text below, we will unpack everything, starting with what the word dervish means to this specific ceremony. At the very end, we’ll show you where you can witness it yourself. Continue reading for a captivating story!
Who are they?
To fully appreciate it, you should understand a thing or two about this spectacle. First of all, let’s start by defining the term dervish in the most simple way possible.
A dervish or a darwish is a type of Sufi (Sufi being a person who practices Sufism). Sufism is a mystical form of Islam which focuses on the inward search for God. It accentuates the personal, spiritual connection with God and self-improvement through various rituals and practices.
Although Sufism is present in many Islamic countries, Turkey is known for the Mevlevi Order of Sufis and their whirling. The order was formed in the 13th century and it still exists to this day.
The members, known as whirling dervishes, are all followers of the very famous Persian poet Rumi. It is believed that he created their well-known traditional ritual called Sama or Sema. The proof is that some references to it have been found in his poetry!
The Whirling Dervishes Ritual – Basics
Sama is one of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It includes music, prayer, various stunts, and their signature spinning.
The point of the ritual is reaching spiritual perfection and maturity through hypnotic states and trances. The goal is to abandon your ego completely, disconnect from your earthly possessions and focus solely on love and God. The trances are the culmination of the practice and they can last up to several hours!
Sometimes, the trances are so deep that the dervishes go through unimaginable physical and mental strain almost effortlessly. It’s not rare that they pierce their cheeks and throats with large needles without feeling a thing!
The ritual is very precise and well planned and that’s why there are always exactly four stages of it. They are packed with symbolism relating to Islam, the power of God and the gift of life.
The Phases of the Ritual
If you decide to witness one of these rituals, you should be introduced to its phases. It will help you notice their switches and really understand their significance.
The first phase is called Naat and Taksim. During this part, a solo singer recites or sings the Noble Eulogy, which praises the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. This part is followed with a solo improvisation played on the ney (a flute heavily used in Middle Eastern music).
During the second segment, Devr-i Veled, dervishes walk counterclockwise around the sheikh (the ritual leader) three times. They then bow to each other and remove their dark cloaks which mark their earthly life.
The third portion is known as The Four Selams. This is where the magic actually happens. Pay attention to the position of their body – it is not accidental! Their right palm is turned upwards, towards God’s blessings, while the left one is facing the Earth, distributing those blessings.
The first Selam describes humans accepting that they are creatures of God. Then, the second one celebrates the rapture of humans when they witness and experience God’s omnipotence.
The third symbolizes complete surrender and submission to God and his power and love.
Finally, during the fourth Selam, the sheikh joins in and the dervishes descend back to the Earth to continue serving.
The fourth and final part of the ceremony is the reading of the Qu’ran and a prayer led by the sheikh.
There’s a clear answer to that.
If you think about it, the continual movement is the natural state of things in the universe. The planets of the Solar system revolve around the Sun, atoms and their components move without stopping, etc. Therefore, the dervishes chose their whirling and dancing as a crucial part of the ritual. They view it as moving in complete harmony with all dynamic things created by God.
The Clothing and Its Symbolism
The practitioners’ outfits are also a very important part of the Sama. They wear long white robes that end in skirts and they symbolize the ego’s shrouds. Over that, they have dark cloaks which, as you remember, represent the earthly life, which is why they’re removed during the ceremony.
They also wear tall dark hats, which are viewed as tombstones of their egos.
Besides being a religious ritual, the whirling dervishes show is a very popular tourist attraction. Witnessing it is an entertaining, mind-blowing experience, but remember: be respectful and never applaud during the ceremony!
Whirling Dervishes Istanbul
Now that we’ve explored this fascinating practice, here are some suggestions on where you can enjoy it. Istanbul is one of the best places on Earth to see whirling dervishes and here are the exact places where you can do that.
This is one of the most popular spots for whirling dervishes ceremonies. You can enjoy the show each Sunday at 5pm, but you can’t buy tickets before Saturday. Therefore, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get in. If you do, though, you will be in awe of their performance!
In case you miss the Sunday show, the Hodjapasha Cultural Center has them each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7pm. You can also visit one of their exhibitions dedicated to whirling dervishes.
Address: Ankara Caddesi Hocapaşa Hamamı Sok No: 3.B;
Yenikapi Mevlevi Lodge
If you’re on a budget, this is one of the places where the entrance is free of charge! The rituals are held on the first and the third Thursday of the month, as well as the last Friday. However, you must call them in advance to make a reservation. You can ask your hotel or a host do it for you.
Address: Merkezefendi Mah. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Üniversite Kampüsü, 34015 Zeytinburnu/İstanbul