Anne & Tom's Turkey Adventure travel blog

Pam poses by the trail marker

It was uphill at first..

...but then the going slowed as we descended into the valley on...

Duck walk was in order

These are the slippery stones

Magnificent view

Yasemin in her element

She is a flower book author

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Deeper into the valley

Still farther to go

Wonderful blossoms

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Nearly at the bottom

Caves to explore

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Up we went

Inside

A church

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Looking out

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A group pose

The valley floor

Out through a natural tunnel

Amelia's bear went along for the ride

At Mustafa's home

Lunch was being served for us

Mustafa's twin daughters

Three tables were assembled for us

Amelia and the twins became friends

Mustafa - driver, builder, farmer, father.

Wonderful soup

Delicious!

Fantastic!

The kitchen

Next stop

Goreme Open Air Museum

Churches carved into the rock

Only exterior photos were allowed

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Last stop before dinner - Sarihan Caravanserai

and a performance of the Whirling Dervish

A last photo before the ceremony began

Musical instruments like these drums accompanied the dancers

From the postcard

Having a drink and relaxing after the Whirling Dervish

The restaurant where our farewell dinner is taking place

A toast to a wonderful trip

Great food

Sharing an ice cream

One last chance to shop.


May 19 Part 2

What a day! We had it all in front of us since we got up so early for the balloon. Now down to earth, we do a hike through the Rose Valley which is a challenge with its very steep and slippery (due to small stones) trails. Yasemin, our guide, is a naturalist and has written a book on the flowers of Turkey. She is in her element with the glorious blooms we encounter. But it is the rock formations that we enter that prove fascinating. One is a church with wonderful acoustics where we burst out in song which echoes through the cave walls.

It's about noon when Mustafa, our driver picks us up and whisks us to his home where his wife and daughters have prepared a real home-cooked lunch for us. Besides his driving, Mustafa has been working on building this house over the past few years and has just completed the third floor. He also has a plot of land where he grows crops to feed his family who also help with the farming. His twin daughters immediately bond with our young traveler, Amelia. Lunch is outstanding with a wonderful soup, a stew served with rice, and the best baklava we have had on the entire trip.

But the day is not over yet as we pack one more attraction in before goung back to the hotel and getting ready for the farewell dinner. The Goreme Open Air Museum is home to a multitude of churches carved out of the rock. We visit one of the most famous of these churches. Unfortunately, photography of the interiors is prohibited, so only exterior views are among our remembrances of this visit.

We head back to the hotel with just enough time to freshen up for dinner. But there is yet another attraction - a performance of the Whirling Dervish in a centuries old enclave, the Sarihan Caravanserai, that was once a stop for caravans on the silk road. Again, photographs are not allowed of the ceremony, but a postcard was provided. We were surprised by the grace of the dervish group, and possibly disappointed that they did not whirl so fast that they became a blur as legend holds. After a refreshing drink, we headed back to town and the "Ziggy" Restaurant for our farewell dinner. Besides a fine meal, we discover that there is a store where the shoppers in our group get one last chance to spend their Turkish Lira on handicrafts and jewelry. We toast a wonderful week, but there is still nearly an entire day left before we say final goodbye's and board the plane back to Istanbul.

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