September 18, 2004

From The Town of Bedrock...

Janet and I played the role of modern stone age family with a trip through trippy Cappadocia today, first hitting the underground city of Derinkuyu. The city was carved out of the soft volcanic rock over 3,000 years ago, but got progressively more complex (and impressive) during the Roman persecution of the Christians in the area. Around this time the city's capacity was expanded to accommodate over 20,000 people simultaneously in an 8 km by 8 km area that went 8 stories deep (over 180 feet): enough to make Fred and Barney look like cavemen. Unfortunately for those of us over 6 feet tall they also built the hallways of the maze-like corridors Janet-size, requiring a lot of stooping for yours truly:

Yabba Dabba Doooooo

After playing Gollum for a few hours we resurfaced for a hike (really more of a stroll) in lovely Ihlara Valley, which was more gorge (ous) than valley and whose shear cliff walls were dotted with more carved domiciles thousands of years old as well postcard-worthy wildflowers, rock formations and a chill river meandering on through...

Gorging on Turkey

After a quick lunch we Yaprakhisar, easily my favorite site of the many marvels we toured in Cappadocia. Our tour guide claimed that the 1000+ year-old rock formation-turned monastery served as a film location for the first star wars (i.e. not episode 1, the 1977 flick that was actually worth of the star wars legacy, not the crap George is making these days) though some folks say those shots were filmed in Tunisia. Regardless, the rocks themselves, much less the oddly graceful rock-carved structures made the place absolutely other-worldly.

We kept looking for Obi One around each corner...

I did manage to find Princess Leia

The site served as a secret monastery during the time of the Roman persecution of Byzantine Christians...its imposing height made it a difficult target and an aesthetic wonderland for modern-day tourists like ourselves...

Coolness Thy Name Is Cappadoccia

We left Uncle Owen and Aunt Veru behind for a stop at the famed and oft photographed faerie Chimneys, rocks who owe their truly weird shape to being made from two different kinds of rock (the names eludes me but basically one is harder than the other, resulting in two distinct erosion patterns). Even the throngs of jostling tourists did not (greatly) diminish the site of these odd shapes rising from the sky....they certainly lived up to their namesake, though the perverted in our group took a more adult interpretation of the towering structures (not yours truly I assure you!):

Janet and Phallic Symbols

I ended our day by giving in to my inner child (when in Freudian-land, do as Oedipus would do?) and climbed 'round an area that I probably shouldn't have, resulting in our tour bus waiting 30 minutes for us. But we got a cool shot out of the deal in addition to me getting to crawl around like a kid again :-)

Size matters

In spite of our last stop, an extremely thinly veiled tourist trap in the guise of a lesson on local pottery (followed of course by a quick trip to the showroom where you're coaxed into buying one-of-a-kind replicas of ancient Ottoman pottery) it was a fabulous day.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?