Rose Hill, or Ariana goes to Turkey a few days early

by arianambrand

Gül Baba (Rose Father) was a famous Ottoman poet who lived in Buda during the late 1500s. When he died, he was buried on top of a hill just north of castle hill, in a lovely octagonal tomb surrounded by rose gardens. The tomb itself actually belongs to the Republic of Turkey, but it’s open to visitors needing a break from the city (or in my case, studying for finals).

The rose gardens themselves are small but spectacular.

These roses were hidden out of sight under a weeping tree, but they smelled so strongly of peaches that they stopped me in my tracks.

I have not adjusted the color on these at all. They were purple. I was astonished. Look!

Purple roses. How cool is that?

My favorite ever picture book as a kid was one called When the Sun Rose, about a young girl who is visited one morning by the little girl who lives in the sun. The girl-sun arrives at the main character’s house in a carriage in the shape of a glowing yellow rose, drawn by a shining golden lion. It’s a beautiful little book, and the yellow section of the garden made me think of it.

In Colorado, it’s hard to grow pure-white roses because they get chewed on and discolored by insects. So I thought these were pretty amazing.

Bell-shaped, sugar-scented pink roses the size of my two fists together. Whoever is taking care of this place knows what they’re doing.

The tomb complex. It’s incredibly peaceful there, with the roses and the fountain and the city a long way down and screened by trees.

Cool calligraphy and beautiful tiles on the ritual-washing-fountain.

Roses that reminded me of the inside of a shell.

Török means Turkish. In the Muslim tradition, he died a martyr and is the patron saint of Budapest. So that’s cool.

I will probably be out of touch for the next few days as I feverishly finish finals and pack my life up into two suitcases and a carryon. But I’ll write again once I’m in actual Turkey. See you then!

As usual, photos can be found here.

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