Saturday, July 7, 2012

Turkey Trip Day 14

Thursday June 28

First thing we saw when we woke up were lots and lots and lots of balloons in the air. This is what we are going to do tomorrow. I am so excited.

The wake up call. James loughs at me because first I didn't know into which end to talk. 

Breakfast. Today it was too chilly to eat outside but the next two mornings we could do it.
Off we go from the hotel, off to discover Cappadocia
There had been a big industry at one time for pigeon poop as fertilizer.  It is slowly coming back. Each dwelling carved into the rocks also had a pigeon place. The entry was bricked up except for the holes for the pigeons and once a year in March it was opened and the poop shoveled out and sold. 
Here are a few pigeons left.

First we visit  Göreme Open Air Museum

There were lots of dwellings carved into this soft rock. Each dwelling was for multi-generation families. It seemed that they always included what we would call a church where the early Christians would meet.
 Always finding shade for the lecture.
At each major 'church site' there was a sign to limit being in it to 3 minutes. Aykut had to talk fast. A guide would monitor it. We had to wait a few times a little bit. No photos allowed in most of them because the frescoes are so fragile and tourists are not adhering to 'no flash' rules.

Waiting to go in.

Since the sandstone is so soft, a lot of eroding has taken place. This for sure used to be another closed room in front.

The dining room with the long table.

Behind each dining room door were two 'bowls' carved for water and vinegar to purify yourselves. 
Each dwelling had a wine cellar. Where James is standing you stomp the grapes and the juice would flow through the hole into the round basin.
 Too bad a whole chunk of this house has fallen off.

The artwork was incredible. The whole New Testament depicted in paintings.

 No photos inside allowed. To see it you have to go yourself. It's worth it!!!
On the way to the bus we had to go past a camel, a photo-taking opportunity for some tourists.  It's not free but they have a A-frame ladder for you to use to climb up. The camel does not lay down and get up. Where is the fun in that, ha-ha?
Of course also vendors on the way to the bus. This lady has lots of tatted jewelry. 
 And we buy something.

Aykut has a friend here who has opened a little business.

A plain mosque without an Imam but it is used by travellers with a lay lead prayers.

Some of us hike to the top. On the way we see workers constructing a boutique hotel.

 Amazing rock formations with volcanic rock balanced on the top of the softer sandstone. One day the tops will fall off

On the top. Some burial places. If these stones could talk.

 The boutique hotel to be.
The workers don't mind that we look inside.

Lunch at a special place inside a hewn out rock cave dwelling.
Starting with lentil soup.
Glass containers for oil and pomegranate syrup.

The main course. 
"Testi Kebabi" is cooked in a clay pot, and before you can eat your meal, you have to break the pot open with a heavy knife or hammer and chisel (the pot is scored so it breaks cleanly). It is sealed on top with a plug of bread dough. Some of us get to break their pots.
Then it is poured into this dish next to the rice. It can be lamb, or beef, or chicken, or vegetarian. Delicious.
Ice cream and fruit dessert.

 Peek into the kitchen. The cook.
Then we are off to the pottery but it is not the place where they make those clay pots.
The red river.
Town center statue.  Men do pottery, women weave.

The wine decanter, a specialty in this area.
This is a master craftsman and he makes it look so easy.

I get to try it.

It was great. I loved it. It could be my new hobby. But no ... I promised myself not to start anything else. 
Everything hand-painted here. All family members.
The several stages.
Different styles.

You never know whether it is a masterpiece until the very last firing. This big plate has a flaw and needs to be done over. Several weeks worth down the tubes.
He is young, but it is vacation time.
I fell in love with this bowl. But were would I put it ... and 12,000 lira (about $7500)?
 Another site. The lovers valley.

 Could be from a fairy tale

A herd with the shepherd out of the bus window.

Optional, to see the Whirling Dervishes
It takes place in a caravansarai, a place on a commerce route built every so often so that travelers on the silk road would have a safe place for the night.
The entry.
First the court yard. 

 We had to wait a little and each niche had sitting areas.
The indoor place. No photos allowed when the Whirling Dervishes were there. Aykut kept saying that it was NOT a performance but rather their meditation ceremony.
It was a special event. They seemed very sincere and somehow it was an uplifting experience.
Afterwards we were offered refreshments.
 And then back to the hotel for dinner.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
From Aykut's CD:

Day 14 Thursday 06.28.2012 (Cappadocia)

  • Breakfast in the Hotel
  • Stop at a panaromic place over Göreme
  • Göreme Open Air Museum Visit
o Apple Church (Byzantine 12th C AD)
o St. Barbara Church (Byzantine 11th C AD)
o St. Oniprius Church (Byzantine 12th C AD)
o Church with the Sandals (Byzantine 11th C AD)
o Buckled church (Byzantine 11th and 12th C AD)
  • Short hike in Çavuşin
  • Included Lunch Pottery (Çömlek) Kebab in Seyyah Han Restaurant in Göreme)
  • Pottery in Asia Minor(Learning&Discovery Series)- Ömürlü Pottery
  • Valley of Lovers Visit
  • Optional Tour : Whirling Dervishes in Saruhan
  • Dinner at the Hotel
Overnight at Karlıkevi Hotel, Uçhisar

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