a community serious about adventuring
Cappadocia – the home of Goreme, Turkey (pronounced like gourmet) would be our tasty sounding last stop in Turkey. Famous for its fairy chimneys and sleep-under-the-star caves open to tourists, Goreme makes many visitors to-do list when visiting Turkey. One of the first things you’ll see as you make your way over the sci-fi hills to Goreme are the colourful hot air balloons, dotting the sky.
Looking like it should make the backdrop for scientific favourites like Star Wars or the Never Ending Story, Goreme actually is a blockbuster favourite. Many tour groups sell Goreme as the place where Star Wars was filmed, but it’s actually the place where George Lucas found inspiration for the new era Star Wars.
The Open Air Museum is made up a large cluster of some of the old, well-preserved caved churches. Most of the churches are fully painted inside with religious motifs and murals dating from 900-1200 AD. Most are in remarkably good condition, although nearly all the eyes of the painted figures have been gouged out. The eyes of the figures were gouged out when the area became inhabited by Muslims who believed them to be graven images.
The Dark Church (named for the lack of entering light, was originally used to house pigeons), whose walls were long protected by pigeon droppings, is the exception. It is said to have taken around 14 years to scrape off the pigeon poo that has preserved the 11th century frescoes beneath.
Small person-sized graves can be seen carved into the cave floors, once used for burying deceased family members – none of the graves were much bigger than 5 feet (I feel smug in this moment knowing I would be a Turkish giant). Directly across from the museum we found more caves – free, but less abound with artwork and evidence of inhabitants. Climbing to the top we caught a fairy chimney sunset.
The Rose Valley is called such for its red rock. Beautiful formations peppered in red make for a breathtaking scenery. There were barely any other tourists trekking its paths given the chilly time of year.
Paying a visit to Love Valley, we wondered about what natural landscape could have forgiven its name. Much to our comical delight – it was simply a landscape of a hundred phallic structures. But of course it was.
Turkish nights is where we finally caught a glimpse of the famous whirling dervishes, belly dancing and some traditional Turkish dance, music and entertainment. I’m sure everyone was thanking their unlimited wine and raki glasses for aiding in the entertainment as some lucky male onlookers were given a flash belly dancing lesson. Whether Morgan made it out there and rolled his belly or not will stay between me and Turkey. As an evening favourite – I’m torn between the belly dancing and the two-legged humping potato sacks.
One of the greatest Cappadocian treats to try is the potted kebab. You’ll know where they serve them as you’ll probably see a mountain of broken pottery outside the restaurant’s front entrance.
Turkey is still very much an unfinished territory for us and it would seem only fitting that we would meet two lovely ladies in Chiang Mai, Thailand that work for Go Turkey Tourism http://www.goturkey.com/.
We’d love to hear more about Turkey, Arzu and Jasmine.