Pros: wonderfully strange land of
beautiful hikes, kind people, good food
Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 13:41
Cappodochia is a wonderfully strange land of beautiful hikes, psychedelic
rock forms and kind people. Tina and I spent two days there and
got off to a good start by staying at Kose Pension, owned by Dawn,
a Scottish lady, who was full of information and helpful well beyond
the call of duty. Free apple tea started our day and then we hiked
into Sword Valley, connecting to Rose Valley and its well-preserved
cave church. Its hard to describe the static yet melting, flowing,
improbable landscape through which we hiked so you will have to
look at the photos. Finding all the remains of 4th-11th century
cave churches was exciting too. We ate gozleme made by a man who
had Helen Clark, the PM of NZ, visit his house a few years ago and
then headed to the Goreme Open Air Museum. Its over-priced at 12
Lira but still very interesting. Worth it to sneak in with a tour
group and listen to the guides explain the dozens of Christian frescoes.
Its best to go there really knowing your New Testament as you will
get far more out of it. I think its great the way Goreme not only
has an incredible landscape but also this important contribution
to the Christian heritage.
We ate a sumptuous meal at Kose, including ice-cream dessert with
carmelized bananas and drank the local wine. The fortified us for
the next day of exploring when we bussed out to Derinkuyu, the largest
of the over 60 underground cities in the area. These cities were
refuges when Persians, iconoclasts and other nasties came by. They
had schools, churches, stables and most importantly for people trapped
underground for months at a time, a winery.
After being deep in the tufa, the soft rock of the Cappodochia region,
we ascended the tufa citadel in Uchisar for grand views of the fairy-chimneys,
and rock cove pensions. We hitched a ride back to town and chilled
with an English couple and their kids who drove from England to
India and now to the Middle East in their trusty landrover. I guess
kids don't have to tie you down.
And then it was on a bus to the Aegean Coast.