As well as the hiking and outdoor activities on offer in Goreme and the surrounding Cappadocia region, there was also plenty to keep us entertained at night. In our three days there, we saw a Whirling Dervish performance, took part in a Turkish Night and attended a wine & carpet evening.
The Whirling Dervish ceremony is a Sufi Islamic ceremony consisting of music, prayer and male dervishes wearing white dresses spinning in circles in order to reach a state of religious ecstasy. It’s a powerful ceremony, but as the room’s dark and the music quite hypnotic, it’s best to have a strong coffee before going in. I have no idea how they are able to spin for minutes on end without feeling sick, but they manage it and it really is an impressive sight.
In contrast to the solemn, reserved Whirling Dervishes performance, the Turkish night was full-throttle, with loads of food and all-you-can drink alcohol, which as you can expect was carnage. The entertainment was great fun from the start and with the dancing, singing, belly dancing, acting and live music, meant there wasn’t a quiet moment the whole night.
When the Turkish flag was unveiled to mark the end of the entertainment, the Turks made so much noise that the roof almost came off! Pretty much everywhere you go in Turkey, you’ll see a flag flying across the country, and it’s clear just how proud they are of their country.
As part of our carpet dinner, Semci hosted us all for a delicious meal and a fair amount of local red wine, and talked to us about the various carpets on offer in Turkey.
Although I probably wont be buying a carpet until later in the trip, it was a really interesting evening, and we all found a new appreciation for carpets. Especially Gaps:
But maybe not Pete…
After a few more glasses of wine, we headed out into town and inadvertently gatecrashed a Turkish girl’s 21st birthday. They didn’t seem to mind though and it wasn’t long before Chris got up on stage for a song.
But as closing time came and with the night still young, a few of us went back to our campsite to carry on drinking and somehow ended up with a game of Truth or Dare. Except that we all seemed to forget that the truck had canvas walls and everyone else in their tents could hear the answers to our questions! Breakfast was fun the next day…