Monday, November 9, 2009
Cappadocia Day One
Cappadocia is a central state located in the middle of Turkey. It's famous for its stunning geography and its rich history and as the center of forbidden Christianity. The moment our van pulled into a view of I of Goreme my breath slowed. If there was was a place that deserved the title "pictures don't do it justice", this was it.
The stunning rock formations are contributed to a 2000 year old volcanic eruption. The tuffs of ash form soft rock with is later capped with denser rock. As the years go by the tuff erodes and the "fairy chimneys' are seen. Carolyn and I arrived at our gorgeous hotel (The highly recommended Kelebek) and this is the view from the hotel patio.
Our first adventure was to explore the open air museum. This is a group of homes, churches and monasterys craved out of the rock in the 300's but the frescoes that stand today are from the 11th century. Saint Basil was the active bishop and redecorated the ancient red ochre geometric designs with more extragalactic colors. There are so many churches to be seen in the museum that I saw both forms of decoration. Cave Church after Cave Church all mysteriously preserved and mine to explore. It became a little overwhelming. And the frescoes oh, I can barely describe it. It was like stirring in a dream but never fully waking up. If you want to see the frescoes in detail please look at Carolyn's website as she has a much better camera than me. Here I am in the entrance of a mausoleum. A skeleton is beside me roped off.
After we left the museum Carolyn and I started to play on the only jungle gym socially acceptable for adults, the rock pillars of Cappadocia. The homes that were once encased in rock are now open to the atmosphere. We were free to climb and explore this historic village that looked more like a science fiction set. It was easy to get swept away by the history of it all and grow disconnected from reality.
The height of my explorations came when I was stumbling over rocks and unexpectedly found myself inside a chapel. Some frescoes remained and a cross was craved into the wall. I said a quick prayer at the alter and sat in the priests chair for a long while (I'm sure they would understand) in a futile attempt let everything sink in.
The sun was setting and it was time to return to our picture perfect hotel. The next morning we had booked a hot air balloon ride over paradise.