Zelve

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next day we did more of the same, yet it was completely different. We decided to do a round trip visiting the valleys surrounding Göreme and the Zelve Open Air Museum in the afternoon. We did so, even though it is often said to be less impressive than Göreme Museum and tedious to visit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Nothing could be further from the truth.
True, the Zelve Open Air Museum, does have very little frescoes to offer, but the countryside and views are so much more compelling. The area covers three small valleys, two of which are connected by a (currently closed) tunnel. The houses and buildings are dug into a beautiful reddish rock and were still inhabited in the 50ies, when the government evacuated the cave-city because major parts of the mountain range were collapsing.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe museum allows you to explore pretty much on your own, there are very few areas that are closed off and you can enter and climb into most of the houses and buildings. The valleys themselves remain pretty untouched, the collapsed mountains leave large rocks OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlying around, sometimes you can see what used to be a roof now lying on the floor and when you err of the trodden paths a little too far, you may end up somewhat outside the museum, standing in front of a cave with a TV, glass windows and a surprised inhabitant, that doesn’t quite know what you want of him.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZelve was definitely the highlight, which doesn’t mean that the other stops weren’t nice as well. We passed by the love-valley and stopped at the “fairy chimneys” and the “animal forms”. None of these names are old or traditional names,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA they seem to have been devised for tourism and tell you quite plainly what to expect: Rocks the shape of a phallus, rocks in animal shapes and the “fairy chimneys”, while they all differ a little from each other, the general idea is the same: They’re all tuff towers formed by erosion.

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