Göreme

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA On the road again, finally. This time our trip is taking us to Turkey, but not just to the beaches. We’ve started out in Cappadocia in central Anatolia, the land of the beautiful horses. While the name makes ample promises about horses, the truth is that nowadays there are only very few horses left and those that remain are mostly used for the touristic purposes.
We arrived in the early afternoon in the town itself and after settling in, we set out to explore the area. The area surrounding Göreme is covered in huge naturally formed pillars. It is one of the main sights here. The stone is tuff, formed by sedimentary depositions, interchanged with volcaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAno ashes from the nearby, now dead, volcanoes. Water and wind started to erode these, mostly sandy, sedimentary rocks carving wave-like forms into the rocks and eventually leaving only some isolated pikes standing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The landscape by itself is already stunning, what makes it even more unique though is that some of these pillars were hollowed out and inhabited. Nobody knows exactly when this started, but everybody agrees that at some point the Christian population took refuge there. Today there are a lot of cave-churches all over Cappadocia. Actually the town’s name “Göreme” translates to “invisible” or “not seen” as the houses in the pillars can only be seen from quite close up. Some of the rocks were hollowed out too aggressively though and collapsed, giving you a good idea on how these pillars look on the inside.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next morning we got up at sunrise to watch the hot air balloons rise. It was an impressive sight. Even more impressive when we did the math and realized that there were about 25.000 Euros of balloon rides sold in the air that day. After breakfast we hiked through the different valleys surrounding Göreme. Notably the zemi-valley and the red-rose valley. Again we saw many of the abandoned cave-houses and got close up to the washed out, wave-like stone formations in the red-rose valley. TOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhey were so beautiful, but the weather was so hot and dry that upon our return, we hid in our rooms for the rest of the afternoon.
The evening, we felt strong enough to face the Göreme Open Air museum. The museum consists of a collection of churchOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAes with some very unique and well preserved frescoes, but not only. Fascinatingly the decorations of the church vary from full-blown colourful frescoes to simple red-crosses and patterns to something in red drawn by someone that obviously didn’t know how to draw.

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