Goreme Open Air Museum

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 7 (morning)                    

Temperature:  10 degrees
Weather:  blue sky with clouds                                       

In this unique region of Cappadocia, our first stop of the morning was at the "Goreme Open Air Museum", a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984, which held the largest concentration of rock-cut chapels and monasteries in this cone-shaped rock landscape.    

We were the first group to arrive and I couldn't be happier having this huge complex all to myself to explore…..with the others from the group of course.  Looking all around me, the surrounding landscape was totally awesome.  I was bewitched by it as I shook my head in disbelief.   It was still very early in the morning, 8:30am and the air wasn’t that warm, but the blue sky and the sun showing up periodically from behind the white clouds made up for it, plus of course….I was warmly dressed!

The “walking route” was taken where on each side of it various rock-carved churches stood very high and looked absolutely stunning.   I had the chance of entering inside several of these rock-dwellings to view ancient wall paintings dating largely from the 9th century onwards, details provided to us by Daghan!   

In one particular monastery rock-dwelling, we all sat down on a long bench which actually was carved inside the wall….and yes, it was cold for the bum….where Daghan proceeded to explain to us how these rock dwellings were carved..... out of the soft volcanic tuff.   So voila, there you go..... we were given the answer to the puzzle.  The rocks, being volcanic-rocks were very soft which allowed the people centuries ago to dig tunnels and passages.  Interesting stuff!

Here, in this “Open Air Museum”, Michel was in heaven as he climbed everywhere!  I couldn’t keep him still for very long as he ran from one huge rock to another one….so was I for that matter.  I had my hiking boots on….ready for any challenges!  All these extra endeavors really paid off because from way above the rocks, we were rewarded with a magnificent view of the entire Goreme Valley.   

Next to the Open Air Museum, merchants were selling souvenirs, my kind of place.  The locals were quite friendly as they invited me into their shops to browse around while asking me the famous question, “Where are you from”.  Deals were made and souvenirs purchased much to their enthusiasm!

Two hours later, we were back in the motor coach heading towards other volcanic-rock shaped landscape.

Monique   :-)
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