Day 14 – Underground City and the Whirling Dervishes
My family travelled around Western Turkey & this site tells our first hand experiences.
|Home | Sri Lanka | Egypt | China | New York and Niagara | Yellowstone and Montana | Turkey | Bosnia|
Tell others about Turkey
Recommend this page on Google
second day in Cappadocia and our last full day in Turkey started late
(well for us on holiday 9.30 is late!) We're starting our day with a short
hike through Pigeon Valley. As we walk through the valley floor on well
used and signposted trails we can see the many small openings in the cliffs
above us that give this valley it's name. The holes have been made by
the locals, normally in existing caves that would previously been used
as storage or even possibly living in, to encourage pigeons to thrive
in the area. This seems completely opposite to our own attitude towards
pigeons - everyone's efforts are always to try and get rid of them. But
here, where farming is an important part of the local economy, pigeons
are traditionally the second best source of fertiliser (the best being
The doors to this complex feels like something out of an Indiana Jones movies. They are large millstone-like round stones that are rolled across the entrances which have been deliberately made narrow on the outside while on the inner side there is a type of guardroom that allows those working the doors space to move it. In other words - easy to get open from inside but almost impossible from the outside. There is plenty of good lighting inside but it is also possible to get a food sense of what in might be like without the modern lamps.
Necip sends Callum and Tom off exploring places where
it is not lit (such as part of his grandma's tunnel) and where it gets
incredibly narrow. The darkness here is all encompassing and while they
really enjoy all the exploring I suspect that both boys were pleased to
turn back into the light of the normal tunnels. For
our final meal you might have thought the kids would choose a posh restaurant
or somewhere selling international food as we had the day before but there
is one meal they are all anxious to try in turkey. A real doner kebab!
So we find a rather dodgy looking take away place, buy 4 doner kebabs
(2 beef, 2 chicken) and sit by the riverside on a bench and enjoy our
final meal, which by the way is excellent!
There are 4 musicians who sit on one side and 5 dancers plus a leader. All come in with black cloaks concealing white garments below and brown hats like very tall fezs (except for the leader who wears a white hat). The service proceeds through many different stages including a reading from the Koran and a prayer but the main attraction is the 'dancing' where the dervishes spit constantly with their eyes closed and an effort to reach some sort of enlightenment similar it would seem to Buddhist. The theory is that a circle and in particular a spinning circle is special. It's something we all do (the earth spins and we are all made of atoms which have electron spins - I realise it is not quite that simple) and this conscious act helps the dervishes to remove other distractions.
Whether it works or not it really is amazing that they
can spin that fast for that long and then simple stop, now and stand still
without falling over. I would be completely dizzy!