Tulips and History of Turkey Tour 2014
April 14th - 23rd, 2014


April 21. Monday. Cappadocia
In the morning I took some photos of our hotel and the area. Also found an abandoned cave that used to be a home I think. The old artwork was still on the walls and look at the shelves. Old windows with figures of cats, old birdhouses and doors, such a magical walk in the early morning made more so by the balloons.
Then we were off to visit the fascinating Goreme Valley. The lunar like landscape of this region is eerie, yet beautiful. Over thousands of years, the rain has eroded this landscape to give rise to strange rock formations known as “Fairy Chimneys”. Other world is the only way to describe this place. To see camels too was weird. Then we enjoy a visit to local municipality carpet cooperation. This was really interesting. We found out that the most expensive and labour intensive carpets were done by men in prison. These are the carpets that high official and visiting dignitaries would receive. Needless to say there were a few that found they way to North America. Exquisite to say the least. The co-op was started in 1997 with over 13,000 involved now – mostly women. The co-op offer training then the ladies go home after the training and the co-op supplies the wool with the Chamber of Commerce providing the loom. They sign a contract for 5 years but all their expenses are paid for and they make good money at home.

After lunch we visited the Open Air Museum which was equally amazing. So many churches…over 30 just in this one area. Built with mud, hay and egg white and when the plaster is fresh, that is when the frescoes were painted. Churches with nothing inside except pits were for funerals. The pits were for the bones. Many niches here and those were for pigeons. They used their droppings for fertilizer. then and then a quick stop in the gift shop…wow, such beautiful gifts then another stop to see a to die for view over the valley and the adjoining market join then back to our hotel to get ready for the Whirling Dervishes performance then back to the hotel for dinner. The building this was held in was a caravan hotel back in the mid 13th century. Every 40 kms – which was the distance a camel could travel in a day – you would find one of these hotels. The Whirling Dervishes are Sufi Whirling Dervishes. Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, emphasizes universal love, peace, acceptance of various spiritual paths and a mystical union with the divine. It is associated with the dancing of whirling dervishes, who originated in the 13th century as followers of the poet and Muslim mystic, Rumi. Our guide told us that the biggest group of these reside in California.


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