Friday, July 6, 2012

Kapadokya region

Kapadokya (Cappadocia in English, but no one pronounces it that way) is a magical region in the center of Turkey. Millions of years ago the three volcanoes in the area erupted and covered the ground with all sorts of ash and lava. Snow, rain, wind, rivers, time eroded the terrain to create a fantastic landscape. Seeing it via hot air balloon is the perfect first experience. After that, it's up to you to explore the many unique locations yourself, or to hire a guide. Kelly and I went with Muşkara Tourism and Travel Agency for the hot air balloon (Balloon Turkca!) as well as the two day tours we did. We were taken to beautiful valleys, castles carved into stones, pigeon homes carved into stones, curious rock formations called fairy chimneys, an underground city, and so much more. Here is a peak into the wonderful region known as Kapadokya!

The Three Pillars of Kapadokya.

Uçhisar Castle, used by the Byzantine army in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Evil eye

Pigeon homes - in Pigeon Valley

Welcome to my humble abode.

Rose Valley. They say the rocks turn red in wintertime from the snow.

Göreme Open Air Museum. Filled with churches. Dated back to the 9th century and has about 30 churches built out of the soft volcanic tuff.

Göreme Open Air Museum. Well preserved church frescoes.

In another church, called the Dark Churhc, the frescoes look like they were painted within the last 10 years. Photos were not allowed, but I HIGHLY recommend paying the 5 or 8 additional Turkish lira to check it out.

Göreme Open Air Museum. Here I am in the oven of the kitchen.

Göreme Open Air Museum

Göreme Open Air Museum


Derinkuyu Underground City. Our super guide Reco (Rejo). It is thought that this 8 level city (197 feet/60m deep) houses 20,000 people.

Praying inside the underground church.

Kelly and I in the Underground school.

Nar lake.

Ihlara Valley with the Melindiz River (not seen here). It's about 9 miles/15km long.

Church in Ihlara Valley

Woman preparing gözleme. Yum.

In Ihlara Valley.

Selime Cathedral

Selime Cathedral - dates back to 9th century.

Selime Cathedral

Selime Cathedral

View from Selime Cathedral

And then we made our way back to Istanbul on an 12 hour bus ride (blame the simultaneous construction of all the bridges in Istanbul that added the 2 hours!)

Kelly is lucky to be able to sleep on any and every moving vehicle.

Our identical backpacks and gear.

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure what your green backpack has to say, but mine says she is ready to GO GO again! Where to my fun travel buddy? X