Sunday, July 28, 2013

Golden Yarn Carpet, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

After fathoming historical truths behind construction ofunderground cities, we then marveled at intricate art of carpet weaving. We paid a visit to Golden Yarn Carpet, a carpet factory. What’s special about this place is that the carpets here are handmade instead of mass produced by machines.

First, we were given a brief explanation on carpet making at a work room. In the room, there are women hard at weaving yarns.

That's a beauty! So detailed...
Weaving techniques
The colorful yarns are then patiently woven into elaborate complex patterns carpets. We were told that it takes months to handmade a carpet. They use good quality materials and apply double knotting weaving technique.

Next, we were ushered into a show room in which we were served hot tea as welcoming drink. Then, they started to bring out all types of carpet one by one. We went ooh and aah over the wide selections of carpets being shown to us. The carpets that come in assortment of shapes, colors and patterns are all beautiful of course. However, since they’re handmade, the prices are very expensive. A small rectangle carpet more or less the same size as a bathmat (alas kaki) is priced at USD250; whereas, larger ones reach thousands of dollars. Try converting it into RM, whoa boleh pengsan ooo.

None of us bought anything. Jamu mata je la.

Address: Urgup Yolu Uchisar Nevsehir, Turkey. Telephone number: +90 384 219 3110. Website:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Underground City of Kaymakli, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Our fifth day adventure started with a visit to Underground City of Kaymakli. It was a city built below ground to accommodate some half a million people during troubled times and are linked by underground tunnels to other cities. It opens daily and its operating hours depend on which seasons you're visiting. Entrance fee is TL15.

Kaymakli, the widest underground city in Cappadocia, is built under a rock hill named Citadel of Kaymakli. It encompasses of 8 floors below ground but only 4 floors have been unearthed so far and are opened to visitors. Air is circulated through all floors using a ventilation shaft.

Stables are located on first floor, while, church is on the second floor. Storage places, wineries and kitchen are on third floor. Wineries and food storage rooms are on fourth floor. There are also living rooms, halls, cemetery, etc inside the underground city.

Kaymakli passageways are low, narrow and sloping. There are places that visitors have to crawl or bend to go through. The tunnels are still being used today as storage areas, stables and cellars by villagers who have built houses around or near it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Cappadocia is a beautiful region blessed with many natural wonders. One of the popular and unique activities among tourists there is hot air balloon riding. This activity was not included in our itinerary but it was listed as one of the extra options available.

Whoever wants to join this activity, the payment is USD200++. I can’t remember the exact amount. Since it was expensive for us, neither Hubby nor I join. We thought it was better if we use the money for other stuffs. Furthermore, the kids couldn’t join. 

My father in law and brothers in law did join though. They departed in the morning wee hours (before dawn). They got to watch sunrise on the hot air balloon. After the ride was over, they were given certificate. Ain’t that something? All pictures here are courtesy of Abah.

I can’t comment much about the experiences (riding hot air balloon, seeing the landscapes), the process, the feelings, etc since I was not there personally. But I very much want to share the pictures. They’re absolutely stunning!

The spectacular surrealistic landscapes combined with excellent flying conditions allow the balloons to gently drift over and between fairy chimneys, pigeon houses hewn into the unique rock formations, orchards and vineyards through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations, colors and features and then float up over rippled ravines for breathtaking views over the region.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fantastic Foods

Dear Diary,

Fantastic foods we savored at Double Tree by Hilton, Avanos - Cappadocia. Words of caution though, these are only SOME pictures of the breakfast and dinner buffet spreads!

Soups, Breads & Pastries, Salads & Dressings, Pickles, Appetizers, Fruits, etc
Finger licking good!
Main course

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kids Enjoying Themselves

Dear Diary,

in our room...

at the pool...

at breakfast...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Double Tree by Hilton, Avanos - Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

We spent about 1 hour at Mevlana Museum. Then, it was time to make a move to our next destination. After a couple of hours, we arrived in Cappadocia, a picturesque region blessed with natural wonders.

We straightaway went to our hotel and checked in. Double Tree by Hilton in Avanos, Cappadocia was where we stayed. Everything about this hotel got two thumbs up from us. It was the best hotel stay for our Turkey vacation. All aspects were first class from soft beds to fluffy pillows, from very friendly staffs to very good facilities, from nicely decorated interior to flavorful buffet spreads. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.

Room 4008 was our home away from home for 2 nights. It has 2 single beds that comfortably fit 1 adult and 1 child per bed. They added 1 extra bed for us.

What I like most was the room’s walk in closet. All our luggage and bags can be tidily kept in there. Another feature that I like was the room’s couch corner where we can curl up and relax or read a book.

On our first night at the hotel, we brought the kids for a swim at the hotel’s indoor pool. Besides outdoor and indoor pools, Double Tree also boasts of fitness center, sauna, Turkish bath and spacious function room that can seat 500 guests.

The food was superb. Among all hotels that we stayed, Double Tree served the best, most variety and most flavorful buffet spreads.

Address: Yenimahalle Kizilirmak Cad. 50500 Avanos / Nevsehir – Cappadocia, Turkey. Telephone number: +90 384 511 11 11. Fax number: +90 384 511 11 22. Website:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mevlana Museum, Konya, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

The main building
After being awed at a caravanserai, next we expanded our knowledge at Mevlana Muzesi, a museum in Konya. It is opened daily from 9am to 5:30pm with a minimal 5TL entrance fee. Before entering the museum, visitors have to wear plastic covers over their shoes as to keep the place clean because it is considered a sacred place.

The museum used to be the actual accommodation place for Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim sect. Their revered founder Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was a great philosopher. The word mevlana means “our guide” to his followers.

As you enter the museum, your attention will be focused on beautifully framed calligraphies. Next, you’ll see Rumi’s mausoleum together with his family’s and other Mevlevi leaders’ tombs. As you walk further, you’ll see historical as well as Islamic artifacts.

The most special item being displayed is Prophet Muhammad’s PBUH beard. We cannot see the relic because it is kept inside a box but we can get a whiff of nice fragrant smell through small holes at each corner of the display glass case.

The smaller exhibition areas
Taking picture is not allowed inside the museum’s main exhibition building. Nevertheless, visitors can snap pictures at smaller building’s exhibition areas outside. These smaller celled exhibition areas depict the group’s daily life and faith.

Address: Mevlana Mah., Konya, Turkey. Telephone number: +90 332 351 1215.