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Published: October 3rd 2013
Woolly says – I woke up freezing with rain pelting down on the tent, I was not a happy Mammoth. With the temperature at 12 degrees it felt bitter bearing in mind the steady 27 to 30’s we have been living in. Ian went on a rummage through Ollie and found warmer clothes for me and Jo. She looks very cute in a pair of Ian’s jeans rolled up by the foot and one of his T Shirts to provide an extra layer, not to mention a pair of his socks over hers. He also dug out my hoodie, woolly hat and scarf for me…..what a star!! Suitably clad we made it into to Ollie by midday.
It was a very late start for us but there was little point in doing anything until the deluge abated a bit. With grey clouds over head we finally braved the elements and headed off to our first port of call.
Woolly says – the region of Cappadocia was formed through ancient volcanic eruptions blanketing the area with thick ash, solidifying into a soft rock (called tuff) tens of meters thick. Wind and water started the erosion on
this plateau, leaving only its harder elements behind to form a fairy tale landscape of cones, pillars, pinnacles, mushrooms, and chimneys, some which stretch as high as 130 feet into the sky. They are HUGE and everywhere we looked as we drove down the road. With houses and hotels built into the structures you almost expect pixies and fairies to be dancing round outside them.
With Woolly away with the fairies we arrived at Zelve one of the areas that was inhabited between 1800 and 1200 BC. We climbed up to look at the stunning views across the valley with the chimneys standing solo and in clusters with windows and doorways carved out, it was very pretty in a hobbit type way.
Woolly says – The church that we visited here gave us our first chance to go inside a dwelling, the warmth was awesome, I could happily have stayed in there all day.
It was surprisingly warm and with shelves, bed spaces and cooking areas carved out much like a Wendy House, the only problem was the access in and out which involved scaling up five mammoth steps, not the
place for high heels.
Woolly says – having been forcibly removed from my warm cave I spotted a camel, I shouted and ran off to get a picture. We walked a little further only to find store after store of pottery, rugs and mementoes of the region with high prices and eager salesmen. Having stared one down we made our way back to Ollie and onto the small town of Cavusin. This ancient town was incredible, only small and easily missed on the tourist trail it was built into a huge rock formation. You could see where man had added walls and footpaths, it must have been really amazing in its heyday.
With pictures taken we drove back to the main road and started looking for signs for Love Valley. There are plenty of valley’s to choose from but as I was still feeling a bit under the weather (literally) and more dark clouds gathering we elected to visit one only hoping that we wouldn’t miss out on anything in other gorges. Having passed through the town of Goreme where our campsite was located we didn’t see anything to help in our
quest, heading out of town we pulled over at Panorama Restaurant.
Woolly says – with a name like that it must be worth a stop and boy was it. The view was incredible with mushrooms and chimneys littering the landscape, I was able to see how the town fitted in and around the natural phenomenon. It was however very windy and with frost bite threatening my trunk we travelled back the way we had come still looking for a sign for Love Valley. Suddenly Ian shouted ‘LV that might be it’ and sped off up a side road. Ollie loved the road which was more like off-roading than real roads and we arrived at the top.
The view was splendid and spread out in front of us was what looked like…….
Woolly says – Mammoth sized men’s bits!!!!! Have a look at the photos if you don’t believe me.
Having taken some snaps and ignored Woolly’s school boy sniggering we set off for our last part of the day. The World Heritage Site (third in three days!) of Goreme Open Air Museum. Parking up we paid our 6TL
(approximately £2.00 GBP) and approached the ticket office and handed over another 15TL each (approximately £4.84 GBP) and in we went.
Woolly says – the museum was actually a religious refuge during the early days of Christianity. By the fourth century Christians fleeing Rome’s persecution had arrived in some numbers and established monastic communities here. The monks excavated extensive dwellings and monasteries and created Byzantine frescoed paintings in cave chapels from the seventh century, which are still in evidence although decimated, as so many are, with the eyes gouged out.
We started at the Monastery and Convent, a seven story rock mass with connecting tunnels from each room, unfortunately this area was closed to the swarms of tourists that were everywhere. On we went to the first of the churches.
Woolly says – the churches range from the 10th
Century through to 12th
Century and there seem to be hundreds of them. Each has a refectory next to them and in the main they are small and quite snug especially with an average of 30 tourists in at a time. In and out of them we went and after the fifth
I was churched out but on we went climbing steps and stairs in a procession of visitors. Some had really clear fresco’s to see like St Barbara’s Church and some only faded splodges of paint remained. Many had skeletons in them which were a bit spooky and the majority did not allow photos, we managed to sneak a few before being told off by the Official’s on door duty. The Dark Church so named as it only has a slit of light coming into it was supposed to have the best paintings of them all but having climbed up behind a several coach loads of Americans we found it would cost another 8 TL (approximately £2.60 GBP) and refused on principal to pay out any more so down we went and into the next church.
I think it all got a bit much in the end, the constant stream of people from around the World traipsing around, usually straight in front of you when taking a picture and queuing to go into another church, we choose to call it a day and quit before Woolly started maiming anyone. An incredible place to visit and well worth it
but be prepared for millions to be there at the same time!
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