My Whirling Dervishes experience in Cappadocia

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 6 (early evening) 

Temperature:    8 degrees
Weather:    comfortable                             

After paying the optional tour package fee of $50.00 CDN each, we left the hotel at 5:30pm.  This was exactly 30 minutes after first arriving.  Didn't even have time to check the room!  We were heading towards the Motif Culture Center, somewhere in Cappadocia, for a Whirling Dervishes performance.  We were told not to worry, that our suitcases would be delivered to our rooms. 

The motor coach was more than half empty.  Regardless, I was quite happy to be going there.  Michel reluctantly came along.  "Hey", I told him with a grin on my face, “We're here to see and experience everything together!” while emphasizing on the word together….kind of “partners in crime” thing! 

It took us a good half an hour to reach the center in which mouth open, I gasped at every scene along the way as Harun drove us around the winding roads.  I was on another planet seeing in front of my eyes landscape I’ve never seen before.  Rock-carved houses, rocks that looked like fairy-chimneys, rocks that even looked like....guess what….and this isn’t a lie.  They even named an entire section “The Bill Clinton Valley”, Daghan threw in as details.  

Due to many empty seats, I kept bouncing from one side of the motor coach to the other one snapping pictures of all of my surroundings.  Aussie Rosy would definitely regret not coming, I told myself with a smile!  In the horizon, the sun was settling down casting on the rocks surfaces an appearance that looked magical.  And to think, we had just arrived and the explorations had not even started!

Many other tour buses were already stationed in front of the center, however, rest assured Harun was able to squeeze his whale monster of a motor coach in between two other ones without even sweating or blinking an eye.  This is how good he was!

The center itself was a huge carved rock. Cool!   I was thrilled to be going inside one of those rocks or should I call them buildings!  Many people were already sitting on the hard wood benches all around a big round room where in the middle of it an elevated hard-wood dance floor was installed.  Always the first one to follow Daghan, I was able to sit right at the front row. 

We waited for a good 45 minutes before the show started.  At the rhythm of the drum beats, three men dressed in long white robes and wearing long narrow hats began whirling and whirling and whirling and whirling without even getting dizzy…. nor I for that matter.  A story was being told here, I could tell, I could feel it.  They looked magnificent.  Actually, the spectacular performance of the Whirling Dervishes was of “Sema” ceremony by the followers of Mevlana Celaleddin-i-Rumi, founder of the Sufi sect of Islam.  See, I knew this all along. 

I also knew that it wasn’t going to be a Whirling Dervishes performance that I had seen the previous year on my Nile Cruise, where the performer had lights on his colorful costume as he whirled all around the dance floor while music played in the background.  That performance was more of an entertainment show as opposed to this one, being a religious one.  Interesting enough, the pictures taken were fabulous.  

Less than fifteen minutes later, and 100 bucks poorer, the performance was finished.  I guess their story had ended.  Since they performed three shows a day, I could understand why they weren’t even longer.  It must be hard on the brain!   But hey, hot Turkish tea was served at the end of the show....making my time and money very well spent!      

Monique   :-)
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