Cappadocia

 

Cappadocia, proounced "Kapadokia" or something like that phoenetically, is a region of Central Anatolia runing from roughly Konya in the West to Kayseri in the East, and is geologically quite similar to the American Southwest -- it is dominated by a number of old volcanos, and the terrain, which is a lot of volcanic tufa overlaid with basalt, gives you the same sort of flat-mesas like you see in Monument Valley for example -- plus a lot of wierder stuff you don't see in Arizona.

Kayseri

Wasn't clear whether this guy meant "game over" or whether he owed someone a game.

Yes, it was raining. And Cold.

 

The road from Kayseri to Urgüp, dominated by the old volcano Erciyes Dagi.

Goreme Outdoor Museum. This is a bunch of "cave houses," basically houses and churches carved out of the volcanic tufa -- this is a main thing to see in Cappadocia, and people still live in these caves (or use these caves) in some areas.

Some fresh Anatolian Shepherds

Same fresh batch of Anatolian Shepherds.

The town of Goreme.

I'm sure if there was an intellectual property attorney somewhere, these people would be stopped. Lucky them.

This is our cave hotel in Urgüp, Esbelli Evi. Many thanks to Holly for recommending this place, it was awesome. The hotel was cool, accomodations excellent, owner and staff top-notch. Internet access, too (although it was ADSL, I must note!).

P.O.S. rental car had a dead battery the next moring. Nothing a little push-start won't cure!

Another view of Erciyes Dagi.

The town of Uçhisar. We will see this from a different (and closer) angle later.

Driving through Nevsehir:

A different volcano, Hasan Dagi, on the road between Neveshir and Aksaray. This figures into many of the follwowing pictures.

Same mountain, this time taken from just outside of the town of Selime at the North end of the Ihlara Valley.

Selime. Same bluff as i previous picture, but the other side.

This kid kept bugging me to take his picture.

Ihlara Valley, and the town of Belisirma.

This next set of photos is taken while hiking down the Ihlara valley between Belisirma and this hotel about 3.5km or 4km down the valley. If you replaced the Willows with Aspen trees, this could be Walker River Canyon in the Eastern Sierra -- well, except for the cathedrals carved into the cliffs, that is.

Those small holes are pigeon coops.

The town of Güzelyurt. This town was pretty undeveloped and rural, and probably would have been a cool place to check out in more detail, but it was pretty freaking cold and late in the day.

Shepherd with his working dog, most likely a Kangal dog, based on my book.

Keeping us in line.

The Shepherd. Seemed like a nice guy, posing for our picture like that! Unfortunately, he was heavily back-lit, and my flash wasn't working, so the color info didn't really get captured, that's why the picture looks odd.

Turkeys in Turkey!

The room in our cave hotel. My understanding is that these rooms were carved sometime in the 4th century AD.

I am sure the electricity, plumbing, AC (unneeded on this trip) and hardwood floors were a somewhat later addition.

Rose Valley. Cold again.

Outside Göreme:

Fairy chimneys.

Jennifer after being visciously attacked by a local yelow-jacket, or equivalent.

The next set of pictures are taken at the Zelve open-air museum.

That other view of Uçhisar, as promised:

Downtown Urgüp:

Rug shopping. We finally bought a couple of rugs.

More pics from Esbelli Evi:

The next morning, we dropped off the rental car at Kayseri Airport, then flew back to Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. We did take a few pics on the drive back to the airport:

And a few pics from the plane itself:

 

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