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Brad’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 28 May 2005

Location: Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

MapAfter the mild disapointment of missing the dervishes in Konya, the amazing, incredible Cappadocia has more than made up for it. It is totally unbelievable here! It is by far the most crazy and coolest landscape I have ever seen.

I had a really excellent day today, although I`m really tired now. Last night I was on a bus for eight hours to get to Cappadocia but coming down into the valley on dusk and seeing the fairy chimneys for the first time was amazing (despite being stuck next to a huge smelly hippy and his pack on the bus!). I`m staying in a really cool room, it`s actually a cave underneath one of the fairy chimney! Anyway, this morning I went to the Goreme Open Air Museum, a collection of churches that were cut into the rock in the tenth and eleventh centuries. It was so easy to build churches this was that the resident monks went totally over the top and built so many, way more than they needed. So in top of this amazing unique landscape, there are these amazing churches decorated with sometimes primitive, sometimes beautiful frescoes. Almost every decent sized rock formation you see in the pictures has been hollowed out and used for some purpose at some time. Before I got to the museum though, a bunch of Turkish school kids on an excursion grabbed me (literally) and dragged me off for tea and to meet their friends. They were very friendly and excitable and we all hung out for a while before I even got to the museum.

In the afternoon I decided to go for a walk and explore one of the valleys around Goreme. I set off without really knowing where I was going, to end up but knew I was heading for Love Valley. After walking for a an hour or two through more incredible rock formations it started to become apparent that, although the sky was totally clear when I left, it was noıt destined to remain so and I should have brought my raincoat with me...The weather remaind only threatening unil I walked over a ridge and saw an amazing vista of cliffs, rock formations and fairy chimneys...and a huge raincloud heading straight for me! After five minutes It was really starting to pelt down, so I bolted back down the track and climbed up to a hollowed out fairy chimney. It was so amazing to think I was sheltering in a dwelling that had been carved out probably a thousand years ago. In the end I waited until it had died down a bit and walked back to Goreme, which ended up being much closer than I thought thanks to me unwittingly walking in a loop.

I know I said some of this last time, but I left out a lot of details which I will now add. The day before yesterday I was staying in Eğirdir, the beautiful lake town I mentioned in the last entry. The bus ride on the way there from Antalya would have to be the best of my life. For a two hour bus ride, everyone on the bus was given coffee, chocolate cake, and two roses each! How`s that for service! The town had their local market that morning, which was much busier than the size of the town would suggest. There was amazing fresh food, and loads of olives, cheeses and honey being sold, all grown by the locals. I met a nice Aussie girl, Miranda, who was into bushwalking, so we bought some delicious strawberrys and cherries, and headed out and climbed small mountain. It was really nice to do a bit of proper walking for the first time in Turkey, and the view was spectacular. we even saw a shepard (and a really tough looking dog) and his goats wandering around on the way up!

Tomorrow I`m going to see the underground cities of Cappadocia, which also sound amazing. Even more amazing though is on -Monday morning at 5:30 I`m going on a HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT over Cappadocia!!! So looking foward to that, everyone who has done it says it`s so so good. So You can all expect at least one more photo page just for the amazing ride that is Cappadocia!