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Crazy rocks
Pros: wonderfully strange land of beautiful hikes, kind people, good food
Cons: none

Goreme, Turkey

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.