Walking the Priest valley & the whirling dervishes

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 05, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Monday, April 14, 2008

It was a great morning today as we were rewarded with a sleep in... We still got up pretty early though and were downstairs having brekky at 8.30am then Gem & I wandered down the street to find an internet.   A trek back up the hill we met up with the others who had done their hot air balloon this morning.
We headed off all together to walk through Priest Valley.   Again we walked all the way down to the valley floor and were rewarded with spectacular scenery, beautiful flowers and fantastic views of the Red valley.   We stopped at a church that was cut into a rock - the columns and the curved roof were perfect - plus as an added bonus it was nice and cool inside and none of us wanted to leave!   There were many monks and christians living in the area -- we thought as well as preaching they must have collected a lot of pigeon poo as there were heaps of holes in the walls...
Our next stop was at a stall on the side of the hill - we had a welcoming freshly squeezed OJ here.  We also had a look inside another church that had the most colourful painting of Jesus and his disciples.  
We walked for bloody ages along the ridge of the Red valley - hugging it all the way until we reached another church... by now we were starving -- EG our guide had organised lunch in a local families backyard... The best food!   They served 4 dishes - one of them was called manti - it was like ravioli pasts with mince, yoghurt and a red tart vinegar type topping -- hard to describe but the taste was fantastic!
After thanking the family for lunch we continued looking around the area - seeing the famous fairy chimneys, checking out rocks that looked like camels and one that looked like the Virgin Mary.   Others looked like dogs, snakes and rabbits -- it was great but we were all pretty happy there wasn't much walking involved... 
Our last stop for the afternoon was to see how carpets were made -- we all just collapsed on the ground while the man spoke.   We saw how they collect the silk from the silkworms and also how they dye the wools with natural sources... As is the case with all carpet shops we got the roll out of 100 carpets -- as I wasn't interested in buying one I escaped soon after to check out the shops upstairs...
Later that afternoon we finally made it to our homestay and set up our rooms... Gem, Gen, Flik & I shared and it was like a chicks slumber party... The food they had prepared us for dinner was amazing and I tucked in hard..!
After tea we went out to a performance of the whirling dervishes at the caravanserai... I was really looking forward to this...
We entered into this huge open air courtyard and had apple teas and relaxed on the cushions then the doors opened and we went through to the "dance floor" area.  The band of 5 musicians came out and 1 guy sang for a very very long time.   The dancers eventually stripped off their black robes revealing their white dance robes... After a lot of walking around they started to twirl and it was a great sight.  The dance represents union with God, they hold their right hand up which receives the blessings and their left hand down which delivers it to earth.   It went for a while and to amuse ourselves we started to pick on the ones who weren't doing it right -- one of them definitely wasn't spinning fast enough and we thought he needed to go back to dervish school !    Finally the main singing guy sang again and that signaled that the dance was over...  
We celebrated with some kind of wine which was pretty bad then returned back to the homestay with our eyes practically half closed... it had been a long day !
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