Friday, December 11, 2009
We flew into Kayseri from Izmir, a mere one hour and fifteen minute fight. We were greeted at the airport by the driver from our hotel. He was holding a sign with our name on it (there is a first for everything). We then were shuttled the hour to the village of Goreme, where we were staying. We were staying at the Local Cave House, which is just that, a small hotel built into the caves. It was small with only nine rooms. There was five of us so we almost had the place to ourselves. For the first day we walked around the village, took many pictures, and ate. We ate at a wonderful restaurant where we seated on the floor around a wood burning stove. Our food was served on a very low and large metal tray. The food was very much like the food in Izmir but a bit more middle easter, Lots of garlic and eggplant.
The next day we were signed up for a tour of the region. Our tour was small with only 19 people with us. However when we went to some of the historic sights it was crowed with other tours and huge buses. But this didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves and taking a million pictures!One of our stops was to the Gerome Open-Air Museum. The Open- Air Museum is the most visited of all the monastic settlements of the Cappadoccia Region. It's also the largest of the religious complex, and its churches, of which there are over thirty, contain some of the most fascinating frescoes. Virtually all date from the period after the Iconoclastic controversy, and mainly from the second half of the ninth to the end of the eleventh century.
Next stop was the old city of Avanos. Avanos is known for its pottery making. We stopped at one pottery studio that has been in the same family for over two hundred years. Our tour guide was a 15th generation potter. The pottery was beautiful and highly decorative. While there, the master potter allows a member of the tour try their luck at their old kick wheel. Gary took a chance and demonstrated his own skills at the wheel.
Cappadocia is a region that needs to be visited over and over. There was so much to do and see, we didn't even scratch the surface. We met some fellow teachers who are currently working in Istanbul, who took a hot air ballon ride over Cappadocia. After their rave reviews it is something we will definitely do upon our return as well as hiking and a visit to some of the local monasaries.