Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we discovered there are indeed turkeys in Turkey. We now wonder why that is not on any menu. We spent today hiking around Goreme but walk-a-thons seem to be our thing now. The day began with Rhys being violently ill. He had some sort of food poisoning and spent several miserable morning hours. We hung out with him for the first half of the day hoping he’d feel better but in the end he decided to spend the day in bed.

Tom, Julia and I decided to head out for Love Valley. This place gets its name from the interesting rock formations. I’ll let the pictures tell you the rest. We followed Tom’s secret route for about half an hour before he admitted he didn’t know where it would end and we should turn around and head back to the bus. We got lots of interesting pictures of Uchisar, the city we needed to get to, while we trekked, but it was fairly obvious we weren’t going to get there from here once we saw the steep cliffs down to a valley between us and Uchisar. Attacking cities in this place must have been a nightmare several hundred years ago.

We took the bus to Uchisar in the end and then climbed up the castle steps to a glorious view of the surrounding countryside. The castle was carved out of one of the larger fairy chimneys. The whole place is a departure from reality. On our way down we found turkeys and while we were still marveling over how this was so symbolic on Thanksgiving, Julia slipped and hurt her tailbone. She was a trooper however, and put in another 6km to hike the valley.

Love Valley was another bizarre experience. The trail went through tunnels of rock, tunnels of trees and brush, and narrow rock formations. Above towered weird pinnacles carved by erosion. Apparently it is all volcanic and the pinnacles are the hardest part of the to speak. It is all a bit strange. Tomorrow we’ll take a tour and maybe they’ll explain it a bit more.

We had our Thankgiving dinner at a traditional Turkish restaurant. It is a 475 year old building and we sat in the stables and storage area. The atmosphere was great. It even smelled old. We had to make reservations yesterday because the traditional dish they are famous for takes five hours to make. It is a stew type of dish made in a clay pot. The meat is chopped very fine because the pot is shaped like a vase with a narrow opening at the top. Foil is put overtop and the whole thing is put in the fire for five hours. To serve it, the waiter brought a hammer to our table and broke the top of the pot off and dumped the contents onto the dish. It was fabulous. We inhaled the food like ravenous wolves. Even Rhys said when the food arrived he forgot he was sick he was so focused on eating. After the meal we reclined on the Turkish cushions. It is surprisingly uncomfortable to sit at a low table but the atmosphere, music and food made up for it. It was a wonderful meal and probably one of the best we’ve had in Turkey so far.

Even with all of that, it didn’t really feel like Thanksgiving though as we missed all of our family and the yummy traditional meals we share with you. We’re thinking of you all! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Steve said...

Just returned from the Sr Carters with the French's in tow having stuffed ourselves with TURKEY, thinking how odd it was celebrating the holiday while you were all in TURKEY. I think I had one too many brussel sprouts...but it was worth it. Glad Rhys is feeling better, and hope Julia's tail bone is on the mend. I know how much that can hurt.

maryanncart said...

I am weeping....ok was wonderful to see you and Tom on Skype but I can't figure out why the voice wasn't working...loved reading about your travels...and the whole place looks totally were missed and part of our "grace" at dinner included all of you thanks to Joy.
Loki wants you to know that her "lower" hair now has curls!!!!