The Ilhara Valley
16th December 2016
We had a relaxing day at the mall today. Not much happened apart from shopping, shopping and more shopping. I was bored, but Geoff and I had to let the girls do some, shopping!
Because we had a boring day of shopping, I am going to fast forward to the next day.
17th December 2016
We awoke to the dreadful news of the car bomb in Kayseri. Thankfully, we would not be going that Far East on this road trip. Today’s plan was to drive for 18km, and go and explore the Konya Science Centre. The museum is directly opposite the entrance to the airport at Konya, and on the road towards it is a large, picnic area, that has an old Airbus, that has been recreated into a cafe.
The museum can be seen for miles, but only when you reach the entrance, do you see the great size of the building.
Built in 2012, the museum spreads over 100,000 square metres. The museum is split in to five different sections, which include Seljuk science, the Earth, Space and the Universe, basic science, and Robots! This sounded all very exiting, and we got to work exploring the great museum.
Since we had brought the dogs, Geoff stayed outside walking in the deep snow, whilst mum, an enthusiastic Summer and I, went around the museum.
The museum is one of the largest science centres in the whole of Turkey, but despite this not many foreign tourists visit the museum….for example, the last English person to review it on TripAdvisor was in June 2015!
While at the museum, there were many children on a trip of some sort, and they were all shouting and screaming….not my kind of trip!
After exploring the Seljuk science, we went into the section on our body’s….which is every biology lesson rolled in to one.
In this section it talked about how germs can be spread through the air, on things, and through each other. There were also exhibits that showed a smokers lung and a healthy lung, and it showed how hard it is to breath with asthma and how the respiratory system works. More hands on than mums lessons on the boat!
The most interesting and amazing interactive experiment that we were able to do, was to put our hands onto a small, long cylinder object, and wait for ten seconds….in those ten seconds, the small cylinder obeject would take you heart beat and put it on the speaker, so the whole biology section could hear the noise of your heart beat. We were then told to go on a gym bike and ride it for 40 seconds, before getting our heart beat once again.
Afterwards, we had some lunch, and then continued onto information about the Earth and natural disasters!
In it there was a small sphere filled with sand, and you could open holes in it to represent what happens in a sinkhole. Another exhibit was a small fan inside a glassed area, full of sand. This represented a sand storm. My favourite exhibit was actually the earthquake one. In this one, you could click on a earthquake and it would show you how it felt, you stood in a room and experienced how things would feel during a real earthquake… Scary!
The longest one we could choose from was a 9.1 magnitude on the richter scale, which happened in Lake Van.
I think the most intresting part of this section was using a Gigacounter and putting it over several different house hold objects, which included work top granite and even a tiny mantle for a gas lantern…… The most radioactive was indeed this!!
After these two sections, time started to fly, and before we knew it, we were in the part on the space and universe! ( did you see what I did there?? )
In here, there were exhibits including the inside of the international space station, what the Weight of a watermelon on the different planets would be-(Note to self, don’t try and pick up a watermelon on the Sun)-how to build the best rocket, and what it would like to be on the moon.
We then moved on upstairs, and we went to the basic science area, which was very…well, basic. There isn’t much I can say about this section, apart from my great feat of British engineering, because I…I mean we, built a bridge over a two metre gap, only using some plastic sticks, and yellow blocks, as well as some pins!
The robotic section was next, but we were running out of time, so we left to grab refreshments and to discuss the problem which we had been avoiding all day………..
18th December 2016
Our next destination was a place on the former Silk Road, Aksaray, where even though just on the outskirts of the great area known throughout the world as Cappadocia, there are still stunning and beautiful Fairy chimneys, cave houses, and ram shack villages.
We left the Ibis hotel in Konya at eleven, and started our three hour drive to the 11th century town. The snow had fallen a lot that night, but thankfully, the roads were clear and clean.
It seemed there were not many people going to Aksaray and we had the road pretty much to ourselves- which in itself can be worrying- even though there was a good road. Many small villages nestled by the roadside, and some small houses were tucked away in a hidden corner of the snowy and unwelcoming fields. The archeological haven, Cappadocia gets thousands of visitors each year and when we started looking into the roadtrip, we were all very exited about visiting the great place.
Soon, we were in Aksaray, and there wasn’t much there that looked interesting. The streets were dirty, and the place seemed a bit strange. I didn’t know but the hotel mum had booked was slightly out of town, closer to the Ilhara valley.
So, using our new best road app, “google maps” , ( we call her Gina – and she often succeeds where Sabina fails!!) and she helped us reach our destination.
The Catlak hotel is in the middle of nowhere, however, it is near the some ancient fairy chimneys, and some churches, monasteries and houses which are actually built into the Rock. The amazing sight was indeed incredible, and we were all very surprised at the size of the place, we weren’t expecting this kind of scenery until Göreme. There was still some snow, but surprisingly not as much as there was in Konya. From the top of the fairy chimneys, there was a beautiful view overlooking the snowy ground, mountains, the volcanoe and cliffs, wonderful!
After exploring the caves and mum putting a deposit down on a one bedroom dwelling with a sun terrace, garage, wine cellar, conservatory AND extension, ( it’s definitely a ” doer upper” but in her head it’s done! ) we went on the search for a restaurant, and when we found it, we had a great meal down by the frozen river watching the kingfishers and warblers.
Tomorrows plan is to explore more of the area. Apparently, there was a place where Star Wars was filmed. I don’t know a thing about Star Wars but we can at least have a look around. We are also going to walk the dogs around the amazing Ilahra valley. First mum has some stray dogs to feed….. ………….