Blogs from Göreme, Cappadocia, Central Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East

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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme May 19th 2014

May 14th: Beysehir to Cappadocia: breakfast was taken on the senic terrace of the Ali Bilir Hotel with its wonderful view over the lake. However the tv screens in the hotel, and everywhere else we went that day, were full of the terrible mining disaster in Western Turkey. Also, the Turkish flag, which is flown everywhere: in towns, villages, houses, filling stations, shops and hotels, were all flying at half mast. The first part of the drive from Beysehir to Konya, the regional capital, was along fertile valleys and hills; completely unlike the previous day's drive through the mountains. As we got nearer to Konya the terrain became more hilly and arid then, when we crested a hill, the city with a population of nearly 1.2 million was spread out on the plain below. Our route ... read more
On the D300 Beysehir to Konya
First mountain seen since Beysehir
Central Anatolian steppe 1

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme May 13th 2014

Heute war ein bad-hair-day. Aber davon abgesehen begann der Tag auch sonst schlecht: Um 6.00 Uhr begann es zu schütten und es war ärgerlich zusehen, dass um 6.30 beim Beladen der MR noch trockene Flecken unter den Maschinen waren. Bei der Abfahrt war alles klatschnass. Frühstück gab’s in dem riesigen Gewölbe, in dem früher in der Karawanserei die Tiere untergebracht waren. Ausfahrt aus Safranbolu über enge, steile Gassen, die teilweise mit riesigen, sehr unebenen Kopfsteinpflastersteinen belegt waren. Rutschig und ungut. Die anderen fuhren dann rechts über einen kleinen Pass, ich links und über gut ausgebaute Straßen. Nach 100 Meilen trafen wir uns und ich war wieder auf dem Pfad der Tugend. Der Straßenbau hierzulande ist schon erstaunlich. Es gibt zum einen Autobahnen, die Maut kosten. Und dann gibt es ein Netz von vierspurigen Straßen, die fast ... read more
breite, leere Straßen
Wohnblocks auf der grünen Wiese
Anatolisches Hochland

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Today we leave our beautiful oasis in Cappadocia. After another lovely Turkish breakfast at the hotel we went back to "gourd Man" where we purchased some beautiful hanging gourd lights . We Were invited into Suleyman Ikman's Carpet shop....he very graciously served us tea and told us stories about some of the beautiful dresses and brides hats displayed within. After an enjoyable visit and tour of the old shop we purchased some pillow covers and other souvenirs before heading to airport. Good trip home to Ataturk Air Port in Istanbul. We like Turkish Air! GREAT TRIP!!!!... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Good Friday AM...up at 4:00 again today....bad news at 5:00 too much wind to fly. Back to bed until loud pounding on door at 7:00. HURRY....We are going to fly! In air by 7:40 after being literally picked up and tossed into basket!!! Most amazing adventure ...no words to describe....our most excellent pilot, Mustafa, even had an evil eye hanging in basket to protect us from harm. It worked :-) and once back on ground we celebrated with Champagne, cake and beautiful red strawberries. Once back at hotel (only 9:00am) we enjoyed a Turkish breakfast and started our leisurely stroll through the village, up a long hill to the Goreme Open Air Museum. Here there are many chapels cut into the hillside . inside each are still beautiful Byzantine frescoes with scenes from both the Old ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Flew into Neveshir, in the Goreme Valley.In this valley lie the greatest concentration of rock cut chapels, monasteries and rock formations dating from the 9th. Century onwards. These formations, built out of volcanic "tuff".....were created 30 million yrs. ago when the erupting volcanoes blanketed the region with this volcanic ash which solidified into an easily eroded and excavated material .... Tuff ......over time was worn away by wind, water and temperature change creating a landscape that has to be seen to believe. The cave dwellings carved out of a single cone of tuff would provide shelter for a whole community. After arising at 4:00 am for our hot air balloon ride at sunrise we were disappointed to find it was too windy to fly. :-((((. We re-scheduled for next day and hired a van and guide ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme December 11th 2013

We went on a ballon ride at 6:00am I think it was too early but worth it. They fed us at the office it was like all the other breakfasts. Jill, Elise, Rachel, mom and me where paired with 8 other people and the pilot. Our pilot was hilarious he made jokes, he asked if we had been on a hot air balloon before we said it was are first time and he said it was his too! The view was unbelievably beautiful as the sun rose from the depth of the darkness and shone light to the world! We went through the valley of love and were really close to the ground we then shot up and went 930metres above the ground, we were only feet above the ground when we went over a ridge ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme December 11th 2013

We went to the open air museum just out side of Göreme. The open air museum is not a museum with ancient artefacts of Turkey it's a lot of cave churches with paintings from all over the country from Sudan and others. We learned a lot about the culture and how hard it was to live in that time. After the museum we went for lunch, the restaurant was one that's in the rock face! We had a really good pottery kabob. We then went for a hike, there were places where I got to run up one side then up the other one. Me and mom played tag with Jill a little bit. We went to an old church school thats not in function any more. We then went and saw a pottery demonstration where ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme December 2nd 2013

We got up in the morning to visit the open air museum of Göreme. It is a Unesco site. This region of Turkey is geologically spectacular. The land has a deep layer of volcanic ash from three now inactive volcanos. The ash is cover with layers of basalt lava flow. The result is a fairy tale. Great rivers washed away land to form valleys, but left behind spires and columns and cones of basalt capped soft rock. People over the centuries, carved homes and many churches into the walls of the canyons and into he spires and cones themselves. The open air museum is a small religious (Christian) village carved from the stone and capped with basalt. There are 8 or more churches and other buildings for living. The churches have domes and carved pillars all ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme December 2nd 2013

We got up at 5:00am. The sky was clear for the first time. We've had rain all day every day so far. We bundled up, because it would be cold. We were going up in a hot air balloon. The company feeds you breakfast and then drives you to the launch site. The balloons are half filled and in the pre dawn light the fires filling the balloons makes the whole balloon glow. We quickly climb the woven basket and jump inside. I had not planned to do this, but it became irresistible once we were here. The lift off is almost unnoticeable, and then you are away. We had been at the edge of Love Valley so within seconds we were amongst the columns. The pilot drops down almost to the valley floor columns rising ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme 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 ... read more
Looking up at Zelve
Ceiling outside of Dark Church
Monastory and Nunnery




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