Thursday, June 9, 2011

Touring Turkey - Some Things You Might Not Know about Turkey

I know that I've shown you a lot about Turkey's food, landscape and history, but there are probably some things that you might not know about the country.

Cappadocia is a wine-making region.

I didn't know Turkey was a wine producing country, but it is. The wine is pretty darn tasty wine at that. Apparently, Cappadocia is know for its white wines, but Husband J and I enjoyed the reds much more. My personal favorite Turkish wine was from Kocabag, a winery right outside of Uchisar. We didn't make it there, but we did get a chance to visit Turasan, another popular local winery.

We grabbed a bottle for later in the evening, and it was quite nice. :) I'm still a major fan of Kocabag though. I also find it ironic that Turkey is a wine producing country where many people actually don't drink wine (the Koran discourages the consumption of alcohol).

Turkey makes some awesome carpets.

Turkey also has its own style of handwoven carpets. If you're a tourist, you'll definitely encounter someone trying to sell you a carpet at some point during your trip. We'd avoided even looking at carpets until we got to Cappadocia. I actually brought a very small one home from my trip to Morocco, but was interested in seeing the differences between those and the types of carpets from Turkey.

The main difference is in the technique. Unlike Moroccan or Indian carpets, Turkish ones are double knotted as a way to ensure that they are extra sturdy.

We went to Bazaar 54, a local weaving cooperative where local women learn and hone the craft of carpet weaving so that they can have a valuable, marketable skill.

Getting some instruction!

It's a lot harderd than it looks!

Here's a sample of a traditional Ottoman wool handmade carpet (this is a 15th century design):

In Cappadocia, sometimes you'll see the darndest thing floating by your hotel window..... :)

More on the balloons another time....

Contrary to some claims, the original Star Wars movies were not made in Cappadocia.
It looks like Anakin Skywalker's home, doesn't it? Much of the filming of those scenes was done in Tunisia. Is it bad that I'd totally forgotten about this aspect of Star Wars? I wouldn't have even thought of that unless our guide, Ibrahim, mentioned it.

Have you ever learned something new and unexpected about a place that you've visited?

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