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Published: September 3rd 2020
Cappadocia has been on our bucket list for a long time but a lot of people have told me they have no clue what or where it is. So, here is a bit of a backgrounder:Thousands of years ago, people carved a tunnel and chamber complex into the soft rock and in the 4thcentury, an underground urbanisation was created in central Turkey. The landscape is a honeycomb of man made caves, places to live, work, and worship. Entire towns were formed by tunnel complexes. Here is a lengthy video of our visit to Cappadocia
We climbed through tunnels in underground cities and searched for Christian churches with their elaborate frescos carved out of the rock. Fourth century Christians fled Rome’s persecution to (in the Bible referred to as Asia Minor) Central Turkey — arrived in some numbers and established monastic communities. The monks excavated extensive dwellings and monasteries and created Byzantine frescoed paintings in cave chapels beginning in the seventh century, which endure in well-preserved isolation to this day (although the frescoes have been heavily damaged by graffiti).
We centered in a town called Goreme & bedded down in the Cave Hotel Saksagan carved out of fairy-chimneys where we met some very interesting characters including the cleaning lady and the Chinese student. You will also meet our new friends from Brisbane: Anna & Marcus and a couple who work and met in Bahrain (he from Katmandu & she from Jakarta) but have to escape it on the weekends. And, then there’s the restaurant with a band playing Turkish tunes & a bonfire in the middle of it — we planned an escape route because this was a scary bonfire. There is the trip into Derinkuyu Underground City where we ran into a group of Chinese tourists — note that the guide was speaking Turkish & then translated to mandarin — we were only into the 1st of 5 levels of the city of 10,000 (in ancient times) and climbed through only 4 or 5 narrow tunnels when Claustrophobia set in: Hugh said “I am not going any further, lets get out of here”. Finally, I hope you get an idea of the incredible fair-chimney landscape that might remind you of “middle earth”.
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