Isparta- The Land of the Damascena Roses


The town of Isparta is abt 2 hours drive from Antalya, the town right beside the Mediterranean Sea. It has a population of 100,000 people and it is quiet as most of the young people like many towns and villages in Turkey have migrated to the bigger cities to find employment. The Ispartians would have travelled out to Antalya which is an expanding city by the day. The roads in Isparta are orderly and there are not many cars on them. It has the Taurus mountains running through it and the Egirdir Lake bordering it. The Taurus mountains apparently go all the way to the Caucasus. The Damascena rose plantations are on the outskirts of the town. The one I visited spans over 13,000 square kilometres. My friend who accompanied me also brought me to visit her grandparents who lived just opposite the plantations. They are very elderly and have been living in Isparta all their lives… Everyday is a routine for them. They will sit in their balcony drinking tea, then tend to their garden and look after their livestock…They were lively and love reminescing about the past, sometimes with tears rolling down their cheeks. I admire them for their attachment to their town and to their old traditions and I really appreciate their hospitality during my visit there. It was magical for me to just sit opposite the rose plantations and admire the scenery…

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