This is a region in central Turkey consisting of many cities and towns famous for it’s unusual rock formations formed from various prehistoric volcanic eruptions. We chose to stay in a small tourist orientated town called Goreme where during the day we could take day tours visiting wonderful historic sites & trek through beautiful gorges sometimes climbing quite high above the valley floor to seek out the many abandoned “buildings” made among the rocks. At night there were many restaurants to choose from all specialising in the local Cappadocian cuisine of clay pot cooking. This was a welcome relief from the nice but not too varied food we had been eating thus far.
Poor Debbie got to live her greatest fears (Motorbikes, heights & claustrophobia) 4 days running. Credit to her, even though she was terrified she pushed through and allowed herslf to enjoy the experience (when it was over).
After checking in to our room at the Star Cave Hotel we went Quad biking at 5:30pm for 2 hours to some bizarre landscapes and an amazing sunset.
Quick history lesson:
The area was first populated by the Hitites around 1000 BC who were able to make dwellings in the formations due to the softness of the stone. Later from around 300 AD, Byzantines escaping from the Mongols hid there and later Greeks fleeing from the Ottomans. Consequentially there are many churches and monasteries to be found, some with fantastic frescoes on the walls. These were in used until the 10th & 11th century.
Debbie conquering another fear I’d previously forgotten to list.
Not hard to see why this was called “Love Valley”.
Giant sunflowers are everywhere. In this region used mainly for the seeds.
Sunrise at 500 metres. Despite the fact Debbie was crapping herself she was still trying to figure out the take….20 people in each basket….50 or so Balloons….uummm that’s…..
Champagne toast to be back on terra firma.
The obligatory camel was at every tourist stop so people could have their picture taken on them.
High above the valley viewing more stone schmekels…I mean formations.
Debbie finds Jesus….
…and I find heaven.
One of a few underground cities found so far, this one was 8 levels. It was like being in a life-sized ant farm.
We wanted to bring her home as a souvenir, but due to weight restrictions, settled on the doll.
Trekking through gorges is hot thirsty work, fortunately this one had a cool stream for us to get refreshed …..
….before ending with a great lunch on a ledge straddling the stream.
The day ends with a visit to a rock monastery.
For those of you who don’t know, you cannot go into any business throughout Turkey, be it chemist or supermarket, without ending up in a carpet store. Somehow no matter what you perouse you end up looking at carpets.
For 5 weeks I was very proud of Debbie she had resisted 100s of salesmens well worn patter and I thought we just might escape this nation of rugs without falling prey…..until….
….she met the right guy who had the right rug on the right day….drats! Now we have a very expensive litter mat for Pablo to use.