Monday, June 01, 2015

Cappadocia: Beautiful Land of the Cave People

Our time in Istanbul had come to an end and we took a short flight deeper into the country to Cappadocia. Cappadocia is famous for its rock formations and the dwelings that people have made inside of them. Another reason we were headed to this place in particular was to meet Angela’s brother Josh who is stationed in Turkey with the airforce. Julius Caesar’s famous boast “Veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) was referring to his victory near Amasya, not too far from here.

I thought this machine was pretty genius. It was kind of a Coinstar for tourists with leftover Turkish Lira.

I may be mistaken but I think that the Turkish Airlines inflight magazine claimed that Turkish goes to more countries than any other airline.

My first thought after stepping out of the airport was “wow, this place is quiet”. There weren’t any people yelling “you want taxi?!” in our faces or really much else happening at all. It was sunny and I could hear birds chirping somewhere.

Our hotel, in Goreme, was even partially in a cave although our room seemed fairly normal. Zeke and Angela got a room that was much more cavey but it was so dank smelling that they requested a room change.

Istanbul was blanketed with what I assume were political ads from the ruling party. Out in Cappadocia, though, it looked like some other parties had some support.

Our only touristy spot for the day was the Goreme Open Air Museum. My understanding is that the many caves that had been carved into the rock there were constructed by Turkish Christians who needed to hide from aggressors. At some point after the division of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Greece forcibly traded segments of their populations in the 1930s. Turkish Christians were all booted to Greece and Greek Muslims were booted to Turkey. As a result all of these cave churches haven’t been in use for some time.

The Turks have some sort of a superstition involving eyes so you’ll notice that many of the eyes/faces of the figures on the church walls have been defaced.

Fresh pressed orange juice was available around every corner in Istanbul and Cappadocia feels the same way. Finally I found one selling pomegranate juice despite it being out of season. It was funny how many fruits it took to make one small glass of juice because in the US pomegranates are so expensive. Here though they are pretty common.

You can see some blue “evil eyes” for sale at this touristy souvenir shop on the right.

We had a nice dinner in a cave restaurant. I had some lamb chops that were fall off the bone tender. We split a bottle of the local wine as well. 

Hurray food!

No comments:

Post a Comment