Sunday January 13 , 2008

 

The day began with an excursion to the village of Göreme, to visit the open-air museum where we explored churches that had been carved into the hillsides.  Inside the multitude of churches were well-preserved frescoes, many dating a
s far back as the 11th century AD. Colored with rich clay from the near-by red river, they depicted scenes from the bible in order to share the teachings of Christ with those who may have been illiterate, and as inspirational decor.  This museum was once an active “outdoor monastery” where the revered Cappadocian fathers lived and taught in the 4th century AD. 

Our next outing led us to discover a 7th generation family creating magnificent pottery.  There we learned the difference between white and red clay, as well as how to distinguish between different types of glaze used to seal the pottery.  The Turkish tradition of making pottery dates back to the Hittite Empire, and many of the pieces we saw replicated designs from that era.  We also were able to watch demonstrations of the pottery-making process, while Sarah and Stephanie actually tried their hand at it!

We then stopped for lunch, which was followed by several of us having our coffee grounds read.  Turkish coffee is unusually thick and contains a fair amount of sludge-like grounds at the bottom of each tiny cup; the cup is then turned over onto the saucer, drips down, and then the patterns made by the grounds can be used to predict something about your future (i.e. roads to be traveled, gifts to be received, and the possibility of marriage).  Jan picked up the tradition in Lebanon and was kind enough to share it with us today!

Our final adventure was simply a hike through the unusual terrain of Cappadocia’s snow-covered hills.  Although it was quite cold, it was worth the chill, as the scenery was fantastic!  Getting back on the bus, Yücel greeted us with hot apple tea, a delightful surprise that really helped warm us!

Tonight we are retiring early, to prepare for our early departure tomorrow

 

Grace Kuznovski