Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The region of Cappadocia is probably one of the most visited locations in Turkey. It is known for its scenic beauty, history, and religious significance.

An over view of the volcanic sediments. The many different layers of volcanic sediments.

The Goreme (Göreme) area in particular is well know for the houses, churches, and monasteries carved out of the soft volcanic sediment deposited over the area approximately 9 million years ago.

Pillars, some with houses, in the city. Even today, some people still use the rock pillars as houses.

The rocks also naturally erode into spectacular winding canyons, large pillars, and intricate "fairy chimneys." The location is truly a sight to behold.

Some rather phallic pillars. A few pillars, and yes the phallic resemblance is common knowledge. This area is called Love Valley.

It may be a popular location on the tourist road, but if you go in winter, you can have much of the area all to yourself. Of course you do have to contend with a few difficulties such as less of a choice in accommodations, closed eating establishments, limited transportation, and the cold and snow. Still, I am glad I went during the winter and hope to go back some day in the spring or fall.

Probably the biggest obstacle for me was the snow. I could deal with the cold, but having to tromp through knee deep snow sometimes just wears you out. I would have loved to do a lot more exploring, but the thought of wading through more snow keep me to more well trod paths. Having your pants freeze while walking back to the hotel in the evening can be a bit of a pain.

Snowy valleys. In some areas, the snow was just too deep to try and walk through, though sometimes I did make the mistake of trying.

Even if you are a solo traveler, you can usually pick up a hiking companion from the area.

Spot. My friend for a day, "Spot."

I actually had to rescue "Spot" once when he fell into a hole and couldn't get out. After heaving him out, I was stuck in the hole myself for a while.

Church structures at the Open Air Museum. A couple of the church structures within the Open Air Museum. (I nearly died climbing down those icy steps!)

The Goreme Open Air Museum highlights a number of the churches that were carved into the rock. From the 4th through the 10th centuries, early Christians populated the area and carved numerous houses, churches, and monasteries into the rock pillars and cliff sides. The frescos in some of the structures are still very colorful and often very beautiful.

Frescos in one of the churches. Part of the frescos in one of the churches.

Part 1 of the Goreme photos deals mostly with some of the scenery around the city and the frescoes of the churches. Have a look.

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