Heading to the region of Cappadocia
Trip Start Mar 28, 2014
17Trip End Apr 13, 2014
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Another interesting happening was our lunch stop yesterday. We did not want to over eat by going through the cafeteria line so we wandered over to the "fast food" section where we managed to order ( with hand pointing) "gozleme", which looks like a stuffed flat bread. They are either filled with cheese or potato , warmed on a grill, and rolled up, to be eaten by hand. We ordered one of each but had difficulty figuring out which was which as there was not much filling in either. Having said that the breads was warm, fresh and very tasty. We ate them all.
Today is another sunny day
Although the museum is undergoing a restoration we were able to tour a small section which contained artifacts from ancient civilizations dating back to 1700 BC, that occupied Turkish soil. There were jaw dropping reminders of what those people were capable of producing in ceramics, bronze, jewelry and pottery. We commonly heard " how were they able to do that", as we toured the facility.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is the George Washington of Turkey. Considered to be the father of his country, He led the country in their war of independence (1919-1922) and became its first president. Ataturk made many major changes including creating secular government rule, championing women's rights and education, changing the Turkish alphabet from Arabic to Latin, among others. He is credited for setting the stage to make Turkey what it is today. He is buried in a magnificent mausoleum in Ankara. The site also contains a museum dedicated to his life as a military man, the war of independence, and his presidency. It is well done.
We are back on the bus now, headed to the region of Cappadocia, which everyone says will be the highlight of the trip. The buses that Insight use are really nice. Lots more leg room and on board WIFI makes it a relaxing trip. Our tour guide, Atakan, has a MS degree in history, so we are getting a college level course on the history of the Turkish people, the country and its history
A typical travel day consists of the following: wake-up call at 6:30 if it is a travel day. Luggage out in the hall by 7 AM. Breakfast buffet at 7:00. On the bus ready to leave by 8:00AM. Breakfast buffets are usually large, extensive offerings; there is something for every taste. If we are traveling a large distance we always stop every 1.5-2 hours for a 15-20 minute restroom break. Lunch breaks are typically 45-60 minutes and the stops are a highway restaurants that offer multiple choices and fast service. So far the food has been very good and varied. The rest of a long travel day is always broken up with stops at a museum, church, or local attraction.
Cappadocia was named by the Persians in the 6th century BC; it means land of beautiful horses. It is not a city; it is a regional area with volcanoes giving it its unique rock formations. We will be exploring it tomorrow.
We had an opportunity to attend a Whirling Dervish ceremony conducted by practitioners of this ancient 13th century religious rite, which supposedly allowed man to achieve a closer relationship with God. I do not know how they are able to spin continuously for 10-20 minutes and still maintain their balance. It is truly amazing.