Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cappadocia (Part 1)

At long last ... pictures from our whirlwind weekend in Cappadocia. The Internet is soooo much slower here than at home (despite the fact that they charge us nearly $80 a month for service!) It takes me so long to load photos. And, with family here, there is so much going on. So, here we go. Back to Saturday morning.

7am on the bus, waiting for a few stragglers before we leave for Cappadocia. The tour was run through the Base (they do TONS of these!) with a Turkish but English speaking tourguide.

Joni and Diane

The day before we left, my Mom and Isaac had a "date" at the food court of the BX. Isaac got Burger King and ice cream. He told me, "I had fun Mommy!" He also told me that Grama Di got him two doggies (in his kids' meal). They named them "Spot" and "Super Spot."

We were so blessed that the bus was not full as the boys did not technically have a seat. (In Turkey, 3 and under is usually free everywhere.) Each of us had two seats to ourselves and the boys just moved between the four of us as they wanted.

Here we about halfway to Cappadocia. We stopped to visit an Underground City which stretched eight stories below ground. Here we are before going down. It was quite a bit colder only three hours north but the boys were just as popular. Here I am taking a picture of a Turkish person who is taking a picture of them.

Here we are in the cave which housed Christians who were trying to hide. Isaac was not crazy about the cave and was anxious to return to the surface.

Lots of little places to climb through. Not for the claustrophobic that is for sure!

After our cave visit, we continued on our bus drive until we reached our final destination -- Cappadocia. The name was traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history and is still widely used to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys.

Joni = gorgeous ... Cappadocia = gorgeous.

Up until just a few decades ago, people lived in these cave homes. However, erosion has chased many people to more traditional homes.

My two goofballs.
JB got a bit artistic with Joni's camera.

We still saw many of the homes that were inhabited, despite the erosion. How cool is that?

Such beautiful pashminas.

My Mom at our lunch stop in Cappadocia.

A last photograph before leaving our lunch stop and heading to a carpet shop.

Outside the carpet shop.

Here we are getting a lesson on the dyes used in the carpet shop.

Our tour guide, who has done this tour hundreds of times, didn't care to listen again. And our boys didn't care to listen the first time. So they were a great team.

This is how a handmade carpet is made. Individual knots! The more knots per square inch and the more luxurious the type of material used, the more expensive the rug. A rug can take one person a year to complete.

This gal is making yarn. She tried to get the boys to help her but they weren't interested.

Here are the actual silk worms used to make silk that goes into carpets.

While everyone else was hearing about the silk and seeing the loom workers work, the boys were being entertained in the huge carpet warehouse. Dozens of men were playing with them. They even brought this carpet out to take the boys on a ride.

It is so difficult to allow "kids to be kids." Here in Turkey they say, "Don't worry" anytime the kids are being kids. They say that that is what kids do. But as an American. I can't relinquish them entirely and allow them to completely "make a scene." This is Elijah helping during the carpet presentation.

And Isaac helping. After this photo, I took the boys out and they ran around the whole warehouse with workers everywhere pinching and kissing and talking to them. They were given their own elma chai (apple juice) and just had a wonderful time. While Joni and JB and my Mom listened to the discussion, I got into a wonderful conversation with a Turkish man who spoke fantastic English about infertility. He had twins after five years of trying. How amazing to realize that the desire for children crosses all religion, all oceans, all upbringings. It was fascinating to hear his story. In the end, this Muslim family was helped by a Jewish doctor through IUI.

After our carpet stop, we reached our hotel. This was across the street from our hotel.

This is a picture of the outside of our room. All the rooms were unique, cave rooms. Amazing! More to come in Part 2 of my post.


June said...

Hiya, Wendi! May I post your photo of the woman spinning on my (spinning and knitting) 'blog? I'll definitely link to this page, too.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

June, of course!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures Wendi!!! SO excited you got to go to Cappadocia and so glad you had a visit from family!!

Andrea :)

Anonymous said...

very fuN!! Tante Jan

Anonymous said...

Wen, i found this on wikipedia...and wondered from your pics --what is the story of the Christians in hiding there? What years? And who lives in the caves now?!;

"Cappadocia is also mentioned in the biblical account given in the book of Acts 2:9. The Cappadocians were named as one group hearing the Gospel account from Galileans in their own language on the day of Pentecost shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:5 seems to suggest that the Cappadocians in this account were "God-fearing Jews". See Acts of the Apostles."