Friday, May 16, 2008

Turkey Friday May 16


I'm having some difficulty uploading photos into the text, and of completing the batch of photos to Picasa. Oh well, there are over 90 photos for the day. To view the photographs for the day, click on: Turkey Friday May 16and Turkey Friday May 16 Late

While I struggle to fix this. Here's a brief summary of the day's activity.

We're in Kapadokya. That's about as close to the middle of Turkey as you can get. It's in the province that's famous for some very strange rock formations, and for at least a thousand years (some say two thousand years) of occupation by mostly christian groups in these caves. The impulse by photographers like me is to take an endless amount of shots of the way the rock formations look. Looking a lot like a cross between a scene from either Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, or one from the Hobbit homes in the Lord of the Rings, this landscape is very weird and spooky.

But it was also the home to thousands of people who lived a pretty desolate existence here, and still carved an enormously complex set of villages underground. Their homes, meeting places, churches, storage areas, wineries, and the vast web of tunnels defies understanding.

When we weren't finding new rock colonies to climb around and photograph, we visited the central Turkey equivalent of the Kurdish Carpet Center. This one is the acknowledged center of Turkish weaving education, and last year won recognition as the maker of the best (meaning carpets woven with the densest weave per square inch - 5,050 double knots) carpets in the world. We saw the one which won the competition (and many others), and the beauty and workmanship is almost unbelieveable. These are the decendants of those who made the rugs for the palaces of sultans, and the work today rivals the best ever made.

We again fell in love with a carpet, this time larger then the one we bought in eastern Turkey. It is also a rare old carpet from a tribe which is dying out. We couldn't believe how well the colors matched both our house (burgundy centers with southwestern mesa designs), and the important places we've traveled to.

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