Star Date:  April 2016
Turkey II - Cappadocia

     
 

Hello Dear Family & Friends!

 

 

"Nasilsin? Iyiyim."
(How are you? Iím fine thank you - Turkish)
 

 

 

 

 

 "Relax, it's just a game!"

 

 

I saw this saying on a gamers' t-shirt.  He was next to us on the bus, his nose buried in his cell phone; missing the remarkable scenery outside.  Gamers' get lost in the games they play on their computers.  Virtual becomes reality.  The edges of reality blur until they don't know what is the game, what is a dream or what is reality.  This is not only a phenomenon of modern day technology.

Once Zhuang Zhou, a 4th century Chinese philosopher, dreamt he was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. " I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man."

People have always questioned what is real?  Is it the human storyline?  A colorful tapestry of experiences woven into what we call 'our life'?  Our day to day lives, jobs, experiences, families, dramas, hobbies?  Are we more?  Is that all there is?  Is that all I am or am I more?  Is life just a game? 

While traveling we encounter strange other worldly occurrences or places or even people.  It is one of the reasons we keep circumnavigating this amazing planet.  Later we ask ourselves, did we really see that?  'Hard to believe' or 'hard to explain' is right up our alley.

Traveling from Istanbul we followed the shores of the Karadiniz or Black Sea to the north.  It was a lovely route but took forever.  We turned towards the interior and ended up at dark in a town we had never heard of.  Not wanting to miss the scenery we jumped off and slept the night.  Good idea.  The mountains we passed through the next morning were glorious.  Hard to understand people regularly taking overnight buses and missing the journey in between.  Around the final bend into Georme we arrived in the other worldly, fairytale area of Cappadocia.  This area is home to some of the world's most spectacular landscapes.  Deep valleys and soaring rock formations are dotted with homes, temples, chapels, churches, tombs and entire subterranean cities; all harmoniously carved into this spectacular landscape.  Little Love Valley and the Open Air Museum are both unique and fascinating.  Hiking through Love Valley gets one speculating, very quickly, about the origin of the name.  Classrooms without walls, try a museum with no walls.  We had arrived in the land of 'hobbit houses' and I kept watching for fur on the top of the local's feet, signifying a hobbit. 

Through the ages the Hittites, Persians, Alexander the Great, Rome, the Ottomans, and now Turkey have ruled this area called Anatolia.  One hundred square miles has over 200 underground villages and tunnel towns with underground caverns, hidden passages, and ancient temples.  Cappadocia's amazing history has each new civilization building on top of the previous.
Above ground the windows of dwellings peak out from towers or in rock faces, blending harmoniously into the landscape.  But the ingeniousness of mankind's ancient architecture through the centuries is evident at Derinkuyu.  This subterranean city is eleven levels deep, with over 600 entrances, and miles of tunnels connecting it to nearby underground cities.  There are sleeping rooms, stables, kitchens, ventilation shafts, bathrooms, tombs and much more.  Most people didn't live underground full time but when under attack the family would flee to their basement and follow the dark tunnels underground to safety.  Unwary soldiers could be caught in the many traps laid out for them.  Large boulders could be rolled across doorways or spears sent raining down on the unsuspecting enemies from holes in the ceiling or the narrow passages forced the soldiers to enter one by one and thus be picked off unawares.

Cappadocia has a history dating back thousands of years.  Goreme was inhabited during the Hititte era, 1800 to1200 BC.  To this day it is possible to wander the countryside and discover abandoned doorways or windows.  Walking for miles each day we would pause outside ancient hidden houses or hiding places carved into the rocks and wonder who carved these dwellings, when, and why?  If only the rocks could speak.

 


Derinkuyu  (Photo credit - wikimedia derinkuyu)

 

 

And so it goes.........................................Next the birthplace of Sufi mystic, Rumi, an inspiration to the world since the 1200's.  Until then let's remember to relax.  Life is just a game!  Take care, Keep smiling and have fun playing the game!  Keep in Touch!

 

 

 

Love, Light & Laughter, 

 
xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph

 

 

Travel notes:

1 US Dollar equals 2.84 Turkish Lira

Kirsehir:
We were heading to Ankara but it was pricey and a city of 4 million, not what we wanted.  The ruins were 104km away, so we carried on .
Kadiroglu Hotel, Kirsehir Ankara Cad, phone 0386 212 12 00  Arrive at the big Otobus Bus Station - take a free Servis mini bus into the company's office downtown.  Hotel two blocks away - on the main square, so noisy but earplugs work

 

Goreme:
Atak Hotel/Pension: 2 minutes from the bus station.  Up the road on the right side - ask at visitor information for the right direction   Great welcoming owner and family, clean, traditional rooms, check many rooms to find one that suits you, good view out front.  On booking.com but bargaining in person is better  phone: +90 384 271 23 14
 

Goreme Restaurant -  good food and local music nightly

Indian Restaurant: Find the Blue Moon Restaurant.  Go up and left and up and left- follow signs.  Great taste of India in Turkey, elegant dining for reasonable prices.

We took the bus to Nevsehir then continued on the bus to Goreme.
 

 

 

 

 


 


 

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The other worldly, fairytale area of Cappadocia. 

 


This area is home to some of the world's most spectacular landscapes.

 


Most rock formations have a house carved into them.

 


Every morning a dozen balloons float through the valleys.

 


A unique way to enjoy the sights.

 


Sunset Hill is a great place for wedding photos.  A very
modern couple with tuxedo and bare shoulders.

 


Many of these dwellings are now hotels.  Interesting
experience to sleep in a cave.
 

 


Museum without Walls.

 


 Deep valleys and soaring rock formations are dotted with
 homes, temples, chapels, churches, tombs and entire
subterranean cities; all harmoniously carved into this
spectacular landscape.

 


Ancient chapels have been discovered in many secret caves
throughout the area.  Persecution caused churches to
move underground.

 


Every valley reveals yet another ancient city carved in the rocks.

 


Love Valley.

 


A relaxing evening in front of their carved stone home.

 


Three generations sharing lunch at the market.

 


Rich, healthy fruits and vegetables.

 


Where there are tourists, there are camels.

 


Pausing to rest on her way home.

 


Wonder what that machine was for?

 


We Loved this market.  Spent all morning buying our fruits
& vegetables and talking with the locals.  Didn't see another
 traveler the whole time.  Miss the market - miss the
 local culture at its best.

 


Olives of every color and taste.

 


Fun goofing with the locals.

 


We saw this lady at the market and when we walked by her
house she yelled, "Come up for a coffee!"

 


A relaxing evening at the Indian Restaurant.

 


Stunning landscape on the way to Cappadocia.

 

 

 


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