Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bed & Breakfast & Dinner & Music at Kirkit Pension, Avanos, Turkey

Avanos, Turkey is not the number one place for tourists to stay when visiting the Cappadocia region. It is a normal small town, with appliance stores, markets, mosque, restaurants for locals, etc. Perhaps that's why we liked it. Avanos is known for its red clay soils, from which people have made pots for millenia. There is a concentration of such tourist stores in town, mostly for day-trippers. We lodged in Avanos for three nights, each time, we ate dinners right where we stayed, at Kirkit Pension.

The owners of Kirkit Pension have been in the travel business for over 20 years. Kirkit Voyage tailors tours or trips to a person's desires. Want a hiking guide? They can do it. For us, they arranged a rental car, signed us up on a balloon ride, and for a day tour of the underground city and other local sites. They are smart to vertically integrate: they get the tourists in on tours or other services, offer them a place to stay, try to sell them rugs in the store in town, sell them food and drinks, and will even do laundry in house instead of sending out the work. We had a chance to talk with two of the owners Yasim and Osman. Both are very accommodating in at least three languages: French, Turkish, and English.

During and after dinners, Kirkit Pension has classical Turkish musicians play, and the cook tries to get people to dance. Yasim explained that the musicians play as long as people stay around. The first night, a top drummer in the country was staying at the Pension, and he jammed with the regular trio. You could tell that the pro from Instanbul raised the level of performance for the group, which was quite good without him, as in the following video:

Here's a few seconds of the drummer:

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