Up and Down in Cappadocia

Trip Start Aug 19, 2012
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36
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Nevşehir,
Saturday, December 15, 2012

Did I just mention that we like to scamble around ruins and discover things on our own?

Well, we got the chance to when we went exploring through the famous "Fairy Chimneys" (unusual rock formations produced after volcanoes erupted centuries ago), in empty villages, through dark underground tunnels, etc.  Our guides lost us a couple of times because we went to spots most people didn't go to.  At one point, I was even a little afraid of falling as I looked over the edge of the rock we had climbed.  But the view was worth it.  Cappadocia is one of those must see places.  Its unusual terrain is exactly what inspired George Lucas to use it as a backdrop to his Star Wars movie with the planet Tatouin in it.

It was so neat to walk through real, ancient cave dwellings literally carved out of the soft stone.  The stone is so soft, that as I gently picked at a wall of one in curiosity, an entire chunk fell off.  Oops!  

The walls of our cave hotel room was similar.  The stone is so soft that you can use your hands to dig through it.  Shocking that centuries of people lived in these until only about 100 years ago, when the government decided to move everyone out of all of them due to the danger from their fragility.  One earthquake and all of them would be leveled for sure.

Oh, and yes, you read correctly, we did stay in a cave hotel.  What are those you make ask?  Well, they're real caves (mostly the original ones) that have been approved to be renovated into hotels.  So as much as I felt like I was walking into a strange Disneyland-ish hotel that was fake, I soon learned from our local tour experiences that what we were living in was the real deal!  How COOL is that?  And yes, I rubbed the walls to "verify" the authenticity of the place.  No chunks fell...

Winding through tunnels and caves underground was fascinating too.  Being almost double overed at some points because the ceiling was so low wasn't, but again, we were really glad we did it.  Good thing we're relatively fit, because there were also tons of stairs we had to take.

Again, what food for our imagination!

Next time, if we go again, I'll fork out the dough for a hot air balloon ride.  

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