Day 27 – Monday, April 16 – Goreme, Turkey – Dave

Here’s a photo SImon took the day before yesterday that has to be included…

Which is Nick?

A day of sightseeing in and around this extraordinary town.  In the afternoon, the hotel owner’s son, Osan, offered us a ‘tour of the area’ in his car, so, ignoring the First Law of Turkish Toursim (which states that “when someone offers you a tour it will include a retail opportunity involving their family member or friend”), John, Simon and I agreed to go with him.

We started in the ‘Valley of Love” (although none of us could figure out why it’s called that)…

This is where Osman’s grandfather worked the family land.  Osman told us that the grandparents of every one of his local friends were farmers, whereas most of their sons and all of their grandchildren were involved in tourism.  A dramatic change in two generations.

It was disturbing to listen to Osman as he drove us on to the local ceramics factory – our next port-of-call.  He talked openly of how conversations with a college roommate have opened his eyes to the importance and beauty of Islam.  “Democracy had its time – Ataturk was right to introduce it when he did – but as times change there could be a need for something else (i.e. Sharia Law)”.  And the one mistake Ataturk made in drafting the constitution was “including the third clause which states that the first two clauses must never change” – i.e.. that (1) Turkey is a democracy and (2) there is a separation of church and state.  When we asked him for an example of how things would be better for women under Sharia Law, he said that his college friend had given a very good example of that, but he couldn’t remember it. .  (However, he did text his friend and later came back to us with a confused explanation of how “a saw not a good tool to use when cutting a cake”).  Hmmmm.

So this enlightening conversation lasted till we got the the ceramics factory – a series of recently dug caves where they cure the clay, throw the pots, paint them and sell them to tourists who didn’t heed the First Law of Turkish Tourism.

Nevertheless, it was a terrific place.  A master-potter with huge forearms made a pot in 15 minutes while we watched.  And then it was Simon’s turn – on the ancient foot-operated wheel…

Potty Simon

Then it was time for our retail opportunity…and how could we resist?

Finally a stop at the family’s carpet store.  And this time, despite it’s alluring name…

The Rose Carpet Store

…we did manage to resist.

Finally Richard cooked us a spectacular dinner under the stars outside the hotel.  Using the dutch oven he conjured up a tasty melange of confit de canard and fresh vegetables, which we washed down with decent local wine.

Another fine day on the road.

2 thoughts on “Day 27 – Monday, April 16 – Goreme, Turkey – Dave

  1. Did Simon get to keep the trousers? I can just about make out a pair of jeans underneath – so I’m assuming they’re not actually his?

    • Ben,
      He did try to sneak out while still wearing them (could no doubt see himself skippering Hero in them or walking the dogs), but was apprehended.
      He actually was astonishingly skilled at potting (or whatever the verb is) and made noises about taking evening classes when he gets back – so maybe a surpass gift of similarly garish pantaloons for his next birthday?
      All the best,
      PS – the real specifics for choosing the BMW 1200 Adventure are (1) HUGE fuel tank (450 mile range), (2) it’s ruggedized to protect it from the inevitable rough treatment and tumbles, (3) it’s very powerful (4) and reliable and (5) its unusual ground clearance is essential for rough terrain (but the resulting high COG makes the bike very easy to drop at slow speed (especially when that HUGE tank is full)). The last couple of days we have been through stuff that most bikes couldn’t clear and/or would shake them to pieces, and we’ll doubtless soon see worse.

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