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Published: October 2nd 2013
It was a bit black over Bill’s Mother’s when we woke (a black-country saying that means there are black clouds above), with the sun trying to peek through we packed up and took the minutely short journey to our first destination for the day.
Woolly says – it was only 2 KM to reach Yazilikaya or Written Rock, situated right next to Hattusa and another UNESCO site. This place would have been a Sanctuary and the Hittite’s would have held their New Year festivals here although their New Year was in the spring, I wonder if they had fireworks and lots of alcohol?
Things were very different then Woolly and no they wouldn’t have sung Auld Lang Sine either before you ask. It was in use from at least the late 16th century BC, but most of the rock carvings date to the reign of the Hittite kings Tudhaliya IV
and Suppiluliuma II
in the late 13th century BC, when the site underwent a significant restoration. There are two chambers at the Sanctuary the larger of which would have been roofless and protected by large fortress buildings. The most impressive is Chamber A, which contains rock-cut relief
of 64 deities in procession. The left wall shows a procession of male deities, wearing the traditional kilts, pointed shoes and horned hats. The right wall shows a procession of female deities wearing crowns and long skirts. The processions lead to a central scene of the storm-god Teshub
and the sun-goddess Hebat
. We stood and stared at the incredible memento’s that the Hittite’s have left but it is hard to make out some of the carvings due to the erosion. A large group of Japanese tourists came to join us so we ventured onto the next chamber.
Woolly says – we tried to make our way into the second chamber but had to wait a while for a huge group of American tourists to make there tentative way through the narrow entrance before following in their wake. This is a much smaller and narrower chamber and has fewer but larger and better preserved reliefs. It may have served as a mortuary mausoleum or memorial for the Hittite King Tudhaliya IV. They are most impressive! I inspected the lions on King Tudhaliya’s shoulders and feet, they were quite hard to make out but definitely lions.
We wandered back down the path and spotted some postcards, we have sadly neglected sending any so far on this trip. We were approached by the head of the commune who makes sculptures and souviniours for people to buy. Having shown us how the stones are carved and told us about the families, he told us the prices so we smiled and moved back to the post cards. Another man approached and told us the same points and gave us more prices, we smiled and tried to look at the post cards, thankfully before anyone else could talk to us the group of Americans arrived and we grabbed our selection of cards and legged it to Ollie.
Woolly says – Jo had her head down to remove her trainers and nearly fell out of Ollie when she looked up and saw one of the men still trying to sell their beautiful work. She gives in so easily I should really try for pocket money, she is such an easy touch! A deal was struck and for 30TL (approximately £10.00 GBP), she is now the proud owner of a carved lion. Slamming the doors we made a quick
getaway before any more money parted hands.
It is a very nice lion and we did say we would buy something every now and then to remind us of places we have travelled to! With only a two hour ride to our overnight destination we settled down and put on our Turkish CD to work on our language skills.
Woolly says – Jo means to work on her’s!!
I spent most of the trip ignoring Woolly and watching the large swathes of arable land that we were passing, it looked very much like the wheat production for Turkey must come from this area as everywhere we looked fields of cropped gold spread out in front of us. Having been diverted round several small villages and towns we finally arrived at Cappadocia, our home for the next two nights. Having found three of our six possible sites we plumped for Dilek Camping, very close to the town itself and with very friendly owners. The facilities are there and the pitches manageable for 25 TL (approximately £8.10GBP) and we find ourselves in a European meeting place with a Belgium Motorhome, Ukrainian tent and
a French van, the busiest site we have found. Actually the first site with other people on other than ourselves!
Woolly says – WOW, this place is remarkable, it looks like something from a fairy story, and lots of Woolly sized houses to explore tomorrow!
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