Monday, December 07, 2009

Impossible Landscapes

View from the terrace at Kelebek Cave Hotel, Goreme.

The time I spent in Cappadocia, a region in Central Turkey, was
the highlight of my trip last month. I've longed to visit ever since I first saw images of this magical, other-worldly place some dozen years ago.

Admittedly, mid-late November is not the ideal time to visit. Days are short, and the nights are bitter cold. On the other hand, such conditions attract few (other) tourists. Our rambles were blissfully solitary.*

Cappadocia (spelled Kapadokya in Turkish) has been inhabited for
millennia. The Hittites lived here BCE. It was an important site of early Christiandom, producing many saints and patriarchs, as is evinced in the many cave churches that survive today. Hundreds of massive underground cities were built to protect early Christian populations from invading hordes, then forgotten and lost for centuries (a common theme in this part of the world). We visited on such site, Kaymakli. While the caves are no longer inhabited, people still live in some of the fairy chimneys, like those seen in the Goreme photo above.

*Not so blissful: getting lost, worrying about finding a road before it got dark and we froze to death.



Post a Comment

<< Home