Cappadocia is actually a region in Anatolia, made up of a number of small towns, not far from the city of Nevisher. I chose Avanos as my home base, as it is not as touristy as the popular Gerome, and of course, because of its tradition as a pottery town. I chose the Sofa Hotel because my guidebooks said an artist owned it. He bought 15 Ottoman style houses and cobbled them together into a hotel , decorating them with his drawings and all sorts of interesting objects that he collected. It took 80 steps to reach my room, some going up and some going down (a map would have been helpful!). The breakfast room was warmed with a fireplace and the terrace was a great place to watch the sunset over the area. My room made of cut stone, has a beautiful catenary arch form for the ceiling.
On the first day, as part of the tours I took, we visited a local potter’s large studio and gallery. Chez Galip is a local character as well, with the nickname “Einstein” because of his close resemblance to the genius. The tour involved a demo by the master on the wheel. One of our group was invited to throw on the wheel as well. They use red clay from the Red River, the largest in Turkey that runs through Avanos, rich with red iron oxide. They also use a porcelain clay, which source is close by. This is a small production factory, but all the work is by hand, with only the help of a jigger for the plates. The fine underglaze painting is to be admired.
I found a nice restaurant next door to the hotel with terrace seating serving local wines and casseroles cooked in pots was a great way to end my days of touring in Cappadocia.
Disclaimer: This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.