Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cappadoccia, Turkey: Day 4 and 5

Day 4 - Saturday 10-31
We took a short early flight from Istanbul to Nevsehir close to the region of Cappadocia.  We bused from the airport to Goreme.  Along the route we stopped and sampled some pastrami that is locally made. 

The predominant earth surface of Cappadocia is a white volcanic rock called tufa.  Centuries of rain and wind have shaped the soft tufa into rhythmic flow patterns and tall cones and columns.  Over many generations local inhabitants used hand tools to hollow out thousands of freestanding tufa formations.  These cave like rooms once sheltered early Christians.
 In Goreme, we visited the Open Air Museum, a group of churches that were carved into the rocks.  Most of these chapels have colorful frescoes inside which date from the 10th to 13th centuries.

We stopped at the Three Sisters, the highest fairy chimneys in Cappadocia.  Reminding us of our balancing rock formations on the Southwest.

Lynn and me:

When people left these cave dwelling they were converted to pigeon houses.  So there are a lot of pigeons in the area.

Above, Lynn and Barb in front of a evil eye tree.  The evil eye is supposed to keep out evil spirits.  They were sold everywhere.

The following shots are more of the cave dwellings.  Most have been abandoned or turned into pigeon houses.  A few have been converted into boutique hotels.

For lunch, we went to a local restaurant for a clay pot dinner.  They cook the food in clay pots and break the pots to serve the meal.

Here is the group starting on the left- me, Pat, Coop, Carole, guide Ahkut, bus driver Sinasi, Jack, Ruth, Jean, Barb, Lynn.
For our stay in Cappadocia we stayed at Kapadokya Lodge hotel.  Good rooms, great food.  Decent internet.

Day 5, Sunday 11-1
After breakfast we traveled to the town of Hacibektas.  In route, we stopped at a local bakery, in the town ofNevsehir.  These local ovens cook the bread they make and what locals bring in.We visiteda a very large farmers market.  The market had the biggest cabbages I have ever seen. And anchovies in season.

Local bakery-

Dairy products for sale -

In the town of Hacibektas we visited with a local Alevi religious leader and her family.  These people are Alevi Muslims which have a very open concept of faith and religion, similar to our Unity faith.  They invited us into their home, fed us their religious dessert Asurah, and showed us their local dance which we participated in.

The religious leader in the center seated-

Religious leader and daughter- 

We then departed to a nearby Ilicek Alevi village where we talked to the major, walked to a school to see the voting (this was Election Day), and enjoyed a home hosted lunch with a local family.  Before the lunch I helped the family make bread.

Ahkut and Mayor Ismail Bey

Making bread for our lunch-

Our wonderful hostess:

After the lunch we made a stop for a demo on pottery making at Chez Galip's studio. This guy was a real artist and we all bought quite a few pieces.

We went to a performance of the Whirling Dervishes in a Saruhan (13 AD). The Saruhan's were buildings spaced evenly apart across the country where spice traders would stop for the night.  Now they are used for performances.  This was a religious preformance and it was very beautiful.

Lastly to end a full day we had a wonderful meal at a local restaurant (Seyyah Han) of lamb shank.  What a full day!

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