The Underground City

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

After all of the wonders we have seen, we continue to see more.  Today we visited the Underground City.  I told you about the soft tufa rock and how they dug into it to make homes and chapels.  Well, they also did it to hide themselves from invading armies.  They initially dug under their homes to store fruits and vegetables in the cool, dark basement.  Then they found that they could keep digging and cut out tunnels from one house to another and even to the outskirts of the villages.  They could hide in them in time of danger.  They even built 3 layers of rooms and tunnels.  But if they got too greedy for bigger rooms and built the ceiling too tall, the ceiling would collapse in on them.  But they learned.  It was hard to take many pictures but we got one to give you an idea of the rooms.

Then we drove to the town of Avonas which is the pottery making center of the region.  The Red River flows through the town and provides wonderful red clay with which to make pottery.  He also makes potter from white volcanic rock mixed with quartz.  We visited the most famous potter, Master Galib.  We have a picture of him.  He's the one who looks like Albert Einstein.  It was amazing to watch him make a pot.  The Hittite people (you've already heard about them) invented the kick board to spin the clay around in order to form a pot.  He asked us to guess what he was making.  We all took a bunch of guesses then I thought about their way of life and I guessed a teapot.  I was right and won a prize.  It's a small good luck charm of a specially shaped wine decanter.

And of course we didn't miss lunch.  This time our guide took us to a specialty restaurant of the area.  We had Testi Kabali, or better known as Pottery Kebob.  They seal meat and vegies inside a pottery pot and cook it among the coals for 6 hours.  Then you break off the top and pour out the tasty treat.  There's a picture of me breaking off the top.  It took me 3 tries but I did it.  It was my lunch after all.  It was served with warm pita bread.  All very tasty.

 After lunch we took a short walk up a hill to see another chapel carved into the tufa.

Now we're taking our nap and getting ready for another great dinner buffet here at the hotel.  Every night they have different dishes for us to try.  And you should see the dessert bar.  And I thought I was going to loose weight on this trip.  I'll have to come home before I loose any weight.  Oh well, we are on vacation.
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