today we toured cappadocia. we saw churches, schools, homes and places of business… all inside caves! we visited a local pottery shop where we watched, and participated in, the entire process from shaping the clay to drawing the design & painting it by hand. at a local rug shop we learned about the art of turkish rugs. they explained how they grow the silk and dyed the strands eventually weaving them into these incredibly beautiful rugs. and finally we saw what are called the “fairy chimneys”… these amazing rock formations. it is all so beautiful
& very different from anything i’ve ever seen before!
today we left Istanbul & headed to the interior of turkey to a place called cappadocia, the “wild west of turkey.” it’s a rock wonderland… our hotel is carved into a mountain cliff, basically our room is a cave, seriously! our room that we are staying in actually dates back to the 5th & 6th century. (the pictures show the outside of the hotel & our room). there are all sorts of activities… everything from horse back riding to hot air ballooning. whatever we do, i’m sure it will be exciting!
here is owen’s growing collection of evil eyes. i forget how much attention a little baby attracts in a foreign country. everywhere we go people stop and stare & go out of their way to touch him… it’s kind of crazy. shop keepers and store owners are constantly pinning these little “evil eyes” on O to protect him. Turkish people believe that with the evil eye amulet you will be protected and all the bad energy will be directed to the amulet and it will brake. The protection of the evil eye is used for anything new or likely to attract praise… with all the attention & praise O is attracting, it makes since why they keep pinning the amulets on him!
i don’t want to go into too much detail, because kerry did a great job explaining it. let’s just say, that although i’ve had two kids, I’m still very uncomfortable with the idea of being naked around other people… all I could think about the entire time was “I hope I remembered to shave my arm pits this morning.” still, it was an incredible experience & something i’ll probably never get the chance to try again, so i’m glad i gave it a go.
all week i’ve been lucky enough to wake up to this beautiful sight of the shores of the Bosphorus.
istanbul is beautiful. we’ve been busy hitting all the hot spots: the hagia sophia, which was constructed as a basilica in the 6th century, the blue mosque which faces the hagia sophia, famous for its blue iznik tiles, and my personal favorite… the grand bazaar. with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewelry, turkish carpets and leather… it’s a shoppers paradise. i’m a sucker for all the little knick-knacks, i’m especially fond of all the pottery and pretty lanterns. as you can imagine, we are loving every minute!
pictures from left to right are as follows…
row one: outside the blue mosque, pottery inside the grand bazaar, shot of the blue mosque from outside the hagia sophia.
row two: gavin shopping for turkish rugs, me & O outisde the hagia sophia, inside the grand bazaar.
row three: mosaics from inside the hagia sophia, gavin outside blue mosque, me & O in front of the blue mosque.
row four: inside hagia sophia, lanterns inside grand bazaar, O making a wish inside hagia sophia.