This is the last of the Cappadocia posts. Seriously, if I put these up any slower it will be time for my next trip!
Besides the amazing volcanic rock formations, rock cities and underground cities, Cappadocia is also known for its pottery and carpets. Pottery has traditionally been a male profession, while carpet weaving was handled by women. The city famous for its pottery is Avanos, and the place you have to visit there is Chez Galip. On our visit, we got a pottery-making demonstration (they make it look so easy), while drinking apple tea and wine.
This is Galip, the master. He is the fifth generation of his family to be a pottery master. He looks suspiciously like Einstein, although it seems unlikely that Einstein would run away from Princeton to become a pottery master in Turkey. Also, he'd be way older. Unless he was a vampire. Anyway.
This is a wine jug. Cool, right? Note the uncanny resemblance between Galip and Einstein, top right corner of the photo. The vampire idea doesn't seem so crazy now, does it?
Some pottery samples. Chez Galip had beautiful pottery, and I brought back a plate to hang on the wall. Speaking of which, I need to put it up!
As in most places we visited, there were a couple of large mellow dogs who made the rounds and got some love from everyone while we waited for our bus to pick us up.
We also visited a carpet manufacturer. Anatolia is famous for its hand-woven carpets, and in particular silk carpets. Carpet-weaving is traditionally a woman's trade, although apparently the businesses belong to men -- quelle surprise! A carpet can take between 6 months and 2 years to weave, depending on how many knots it has and whether it's made of silk or cotton (more knots and/or not silk = takes less time = cheaper). One of the carpet weavers wore a traditional dress for our benefit.
Here are some dyed silks used in carpet weaving.
This particular carpet manufacturer produces and dyes its own silk. These are silk worm cocoons, in case you, like me, have never seen them before.
The silk worms suffer a rather unpleasant death, they're thrown in hot water and killed. That's right, vegan friends: you can't wear silk anymore.
The silk gets pulled right off the cocoons and then put on a spinning reel. Later the silk is dyed.
After we were suitably impressed by the intensiveness of the labor required to make these beautiful carpets, it was time so see some samples and consider a purchase. I don't think they had any luck with out group, in part because we only had about 30 minutes to look at carpets and maybe buy one. Considering how expensive they are, it is not the ideal impulse purchase. At one point I had about 4 different sales guys trying to get me to buy a carpet. I'm sure I looked like easy pickins - a little woman, considering a purchase, but not certain. To the untrained eye, no problem, we can get her to buy a carpet. Little did they know that no saleman in the world would have any success if I wasn't certain, and I just wasn't sure I wanted a carpet. I do not regret not getting one, as beautiful as they were.
Three days of Cappadocia yielded a month's worth of trickling posts. I'm sure you're greatly looking forward to more dribbles and drabbles, so fear not, I will deliver.
Once more, if you want to see the entire Flickr set of our meander through Cappadocia, go here. Up next: Istanbul! Not Constantinople. And yes, I'm going to say that A LOT.