Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Beauty of Cappadocia

We shut the port lights on Phoenix, turned off the batteries and boarded an overnight bus to Cappadocia. This odd and unique landscape is stunningly beautiful.
I woke with the morning call to prayer, and in the pre-dawn dusk, hiked to a bluff behind our hotel to get this sunrise shot of hot air balloons over Göreme.

From the bluff, there was a clear view of Uchisar, the highest point in Cappadocia. The city explodes out of the ancient caves in the mountain.
To the east, a set of "fairy chimneys." These were hollowed out and used as homes, storage silos and -- during the Roman era -- as tombs.

Undulating sandstone.
The area is rife with wild grapes. Cappadocians have been making wine for thousands of years. I can attest to its delicacy.
Many homes and popular hotels still are half in caves and half-built out.

A rock cave hotel similar to the one we are lucky to stay in. Notice the right hand "fairy chimney" is half collapsed and exposes an old internal cave wall into which shelves were carved in a checker-board pattern. All the way on the right you can see more original cave rooms.

In the countryside, people lived in these hill caves without modern amenities until 1952 when the government built a new village for these inhabitants because there had been too many deaths and injuries from collapses and earthquakes.


judymac said...

these are amazing....I had heard that the very early Christians, had fled from the Romans to Turkey seeking safety

Rachel Clark said...

Beautiful pictures, and so excited that you guys are there! Can't wait to hear more about it. Can you still wander around and explore the caves?