We tried to wake up early in the morning, so that we could have all the day ahead of us. They prepared for us a tasty omelet for breakfast. Umit gave to me as a gift a Turkish chaplet. I thanked him and after taking some photos all together, we left for Goreme, in the heart of Cappadocia.
After Derinkuyu, the road was passing through a canyon and 2-3 isolated settlements. The site was fantastic. Continuing the road was going higher at the top of the canyon. The ride was beautiful and interesting.
We reached Mustafapasa, “the sleeping beauty of Cappadocia”, as the locals like to call her. From the first moment we knew that it was something different. The houses made by stone, had the color of the sand. The architecture had many Greek parts. The roads were made by stone. It was the first time that we were meeting a village like that. I saw a sign “Old Greek House” and I decided to go that way.
We parked the bikes and we visited the house. The owner, Suleiman, accepted us with joy and he told us…”it is your lucky day, tomorrow my nephew is getting married and you are invited for lunch”. We were surprised and we accepted the invitation. We had 2 hours until lunch was ready, so we told Suleiman that we will go to Goreme and we will come back on time. “I will be waiting”, he told us.
So we continued our ride passing many caves inside the rocks. The caves were everywhere around. That’s why it is the sign of Cappadocia. Just before Goreme is the Park Goreme, the place where you can find the most and best kept monuments of the houses and churches inside the rocks. At the past Christian monks were leaving there. Today it’s a Monument of Global Legacy and it is protected by UNESCO. The site is really amazing and I believe that satisfies everyone! The cave-churches and the hagiographies are very well kept and any damage was from natural causes and not because of humans, like Selime and Peristrama Vadisi in Ihlara. We were wandering around without noticing the time.
In the territory you will find other sites and villages as well. Probably someone will come to you and propose to be your guide. But with a good book you can make it quite well for your own. The distances are not big.
Having in our minds the premarital celebration at Mustafapasa we decided to stay the night there. The Old Greek Housewas a hotel as well (100YTL/double room). When we told Suleiman about our decision, he warned us that because of the celebration the place will be noisy. “We are used to it”, we told him laughing. We left our things in a very nice room and we took our place to the table for lunch.
We were in the balcony enjoying our tee. In that time the family of the bribe started to come. Old women with traditional dresses were seating together, talking and eating. Men were doing the same thing at the other side of the table. Jokes and laughs everywhere. Some others were helping at the preparations. Outside they had seats and a musician was preparing the microphones and organs. And somewhere there two strangers, us….but we didn’t felt like that at all!
At some time the bride came. All the people stands up. Kissing her and hugging her. The old women started to sing. The bride with her friends went into a room to prepare her for lunch.
The music had already started and many people already gathered at the square. The bride came out and the party started. Then Suleiman came to us and we had a little chat about the customs and we found out that he was a friend of Elias Mamalakis. He met him when Elias visited this house for one of his broadcasts.
Around 21:00 the groom came as well as the best man (wearing red armbands), his friends and the musicians. Everyone went dancing, the same time a ceremonial took part. That was painting the groom’s and bride’s hands black! The party ended at 23:00, when the groom and his company left.
That was when Suleiman came and invited us to go down with him at the table for a drink and a snack that they prepared in the yard of the house. There was all the family of the bride. They told us to seat down with the close relatives, the family… How could we not feel comfortable after that? That is true hospitality! The party started again with live music and of course with a lot of food and alcohol!
We had the chance to meet all the close relatives. We were all trying to communicate in English and Turkish. Jokes and laughs after they found out that we were Greeks. Even though they had other visitors as well, I think that we came closer with them. After all we stayed until the end of the night and that was not by accident. Suleiman invited us to dance, how could we refuse.
Around 03:30 we decided to go to sleep. We exchanged telephone numbers with most of the relatives that invited us to visit many places in Turkey! We thank them! This night I will remember it for ever…