Cappadocia – Day #2 - Wednesday, December 24, 2003

There were some new faces in our tour group today aside from our newfound friends Jim & Joanne from Charlottesville. Unfortunately these new folks were a complete pain in the ass! From D.C., a Greek Orthodox couple and their 20 year old kid were touring the area. They believed themselves to be the authorities on almost every subject. This characteristic came out strongly on our visit to the old Greek churches in the the Goereme Open Air Museum. Our favorite family spent the day correcting not only our tour guide on numerous occasions but other tour guides! Ibrahim was a patient man who knows a fair bit about the history of the area. The details that this family was hell bent on correcting were obscure and not of interest to any of us. If they were looking for a religious tour, they shouldÂ’ve signed up for one. On the positive side, we all had a good laugh at their antics. For instance, a tour guide from another company was corrected by the mother, and he retorted, "thank you madam, it's not often I meet a walking encyclopedia." Good comeback!

We toured an old cave home in the Valley of the Monks which had been lived in 10 years ago. The government turned the area into a park, so they bought most of the cave dwellings in the area and moved the inhabitants into new homes. The one we toured was decorated as the family had left it. It's pretty amazing how nice you can make a cave look! We had a quick tea stop here as part of our tour.

The most touristy part of our day was visiting a traditional family pottery factory and a carpet co-operative. Nevertheless, we had a great time learning about these two old traditional crafts from the Cappadocia area. M even "threw a pot" on the old fashioned foot-powered pottery wheel. She needs a little more practice to get work up the standards of the master potters from this family going back 400 years. The details that are painted on the plates, cups, vases, trays, etc. is quite amazing -

We then headed out to a very interesting place called Carpedocia. We learned how the traditional Turkish Carpets and Kilims are made. Also, how silk is collected from moths to use for the carpets. Of course we got the requisite tea and a carpet pitch. We didn't buy anything here, but of course we came away from Turkey with a carpet to put in non-existent home when we return.

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