Our friends borrowed a 15-passenger van and some of them accompanied us on a four-hour drive to Avanos and Nevshehir. On this particular trip, our group consisted of our family of four, Jeff Burns, Levent Eren with his son and brother-in-law, and Suleyman with his wife Serap and their baby boy. We arrived in Avanos around lunch time and checked into a state run motel that caters to government employees.
After dropping off our overnight bag, we drove to a restaurant famous in Avanos for a dish that is cooked in pottery that must be broken in order to pour out the food. (I cannot remember the name of the restaurant - the fact that I can remember the name of the town is remarkable.)
Here you can see Kelly knocking the top off of one of the clay jars.
Then the food is poured into a wooden bowl atop a burner to keep it warm. Yum!
A snapshot of our dining experience
After finishing this remarkable meal, we loaded ourselves into the van and drove a short distance to Nevshehir (note that I'm spelling the names of towns like they are pronounced in English and not as they are written - in Turkish the sh sound is made by a S with a curly tail at the bottom - Nevsehir)
The province of Nevshehir contains the biggest portion of the area known as Cappadocia. A historical Christian Monastery was located there and is known as the Zelve Monastery complex. Zelve was inhabited until the 1950's and has a rich Christian heritage and is now known as the Zelve Open Air Museum. While some of the caves were off limits there was still so much to see and explore. It was amazing to think that people lived here for centuries.
|Fairy Chimneys near Zelve|
|Kelly took this artistic shot|
|One of my absolute favorite pictures ever!|
This was my favorite place in Turkey. It was the right mix of history of man and the beauty of nature come together. I felt like a kid in a giant play house with hundreds of rooms and places to explore. When I left this place, I felt like I was light as a feather; my spirit was soaring - the kids really enjoyed it as well and did a great job hiking and climbing. Zelve and Macchu Picchu remain the two most dramatic, awe inspiring places that I have ever been.
We returned to our accommodations in Avanos and then found a sandwich shop for dinner. And then slept like babies til morning.