A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, day three

Magic carpets

sunny 65 °F

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After another delightful Turkish breakfast we went to a carpet shop --- but this one was different from all the other shops we have seen in Turkey. It was built in a village via an EU grant to develop projects to keep the countryside populated. The EU has also promoted an innovative and hugely successful program in Turkish prisons to train inmates in rug weaving. Apparently the repetitive motions and sense of accomplishment and proximity to beauty have been of significant benefit to the prisoners. What's more, the men can tie tighter knots than the women, so they produce rugs of exquisite detail and beauty - which are highly prized and valuable. Who would have thought??? We loved the splendid rugs and are very proud that we did not order one.
Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 15:56 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY in the EARLY morning

Halfway to heaven

sunny 58 °F

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The wake-up call came at 4 am, and we were too tired to be excited. But we bundled up into long underwear, parkas, hats and gloves and drove through the dark to the launch site for our hot air balloons. Then the first challenge: getting into the four foot high baskets. Those balloons look so graceful as they float through the sky, but climbing into them is anything but. The nice guides helped with comments like "Get your leg up higher," but our legs were sometimes hard of hearing. Eventually we got all our parts tucked in and took off and were in a magical space as the sun rose. We floated up to the sky and into the valleys, looking down at fairy chimneys and fruit trees bursting into blossom. And when we returned to the hotel, a huge Turkish breakfast awaited us. The next activity: exploring an underground cave town. We waved goodbye to the young and hardy and took a nap.
Hope and Bill

Posted by HopeEakins 14:19 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, at night

Dinner and dervishes

sunny 62 °F

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Dinner was another extravaganza. We were driven to the Saruman Caravanserai, built on the Silk Road in the 13th century. The domed inner chamber served as a dance/prayer floor for dervishes who whirled for 45 minutes. The outer chamber had been covered with a canvas roof overlaid with thousands of lights. Following a marvelous meal, we fell into bed. (Remember we left at 7:00 this morning for our flight and climbed all over the Goreme monasteries this afternoon. And tomorrow morning we will be awakened at 4 am for a hot air balloon ride.)
Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 07:23 Archived in Turkey Comments (1)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

Land of monks and moonscape

sunny 68 °F

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Did you miss us? We have been off the ship and unconnected for a few days, and we have had a splendid adventure. From Kusadasi, Turkey, we flew to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cappadocia where we spent three days in a magical landscape, exploring underground and aboveground in a hot air balloon.

Cappadocia lies in the center of the country, and it is filled with thousands of underground medieval churches carved from the rock and filled with painted frescoes. The landscape is dotted with troglodyte caves and fairy chimneys, huge stone structures honeycombed with windows and doors and topped with hats left by lava. Spring is all around us; apricot and almond trees are bursting into bloom, and it all looks like a Disney set and thus a bit unbelievable.

Our hotel was carved directly into the mountainside, so it was on many levels (think climb, climb, climb). The view was magnificent, and we had a huge bathtub with 6 jets in the bathroom and an even bigger one in the bedroom. Next we'll tell you of our amazing adventures!

Hope and Bill

Posted by HopeEakins 11:11 Archived in Turkey Comments (1)

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