Monday, 29 April 2013


Yesterday we travelled further east and visited two caravanserais on the Silk Route. These were both built in the 13th century and it is clear that trade was highly organised. They are forts and had a guard of soldiers. The merchants stayed for three days and during the night all the animals and people were locked inside. There was a small mosque in the middle of the fort. The merchants paid a tax on entry into the country and got three days free board and lodging at the caravanserai in return. Merchants did not do the whole Silk Route from China to the West but, rather, bought goods at one place and moved them on the Silk Route by several hundred miles then sold them on, bought things from the West and took them back home.

The main gate on a caravanserai. There was only one gate which was locked at sunset. There was a covered section for use in winter but in the summer everyone stayed in the main courtyard.



The mosque at a caravanserai. All very complicated and the caravanserai served as a sort of bank as well.

By this time, we had reached central Cappadocia where people lived and still live in houses/caves hollowed out of tufa. We took a long walk by an icecold river which had cut a gorge through all the volcanic stuff. Very pleasant but approached at the start by a rickety wooden staircase of 308 steps. And there were huge numbers of people. Fortunately all the others seemed to do was go back up while we walked 3.5 km to the next exit where the bus was waiting.

The gorge - you cannot see the high cliffs on either side. Debbie is just appearing round the tree trunk. Then on to the hotel so called. It consists of several converted houses in a village built of rock and hanging on to the hillside by its finger nails. My bedroom is solid rock to about 8 ft above the floor and has a barrel vaulted ceiling of solid stone. It is about16 ft high. There is a window - sort of. There is a foot square hole in the ceiling which does have glass in it. And that's it. The bathroom is in the same style.

A bit of my bedroom. Needless to say, there is no wifi here. But there is in the restaurant. So I will take the iPad over at breakfast time. It was very cold here last night.





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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.