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Turkey - Part 6

 

Caravanserai

Free and unobstructed trade has been one of the principal building blocks of civilization since the dawn of man.  And reliable transport of these trade goods to markets has always been a top priority of governments.  In times of political stability between neighbors trade routes flourish.  In this part of the world the so called Silk Road has provided the means of transport since before Roman times.  (The Silk Road is actually a series of routes linking Anatolia and the Near East to China.  Its fortunes have ebbed and flowed with the political stability of the areas that it passes through.)  But when it's hot it's hot.

Sultanhani

The Seljuk Turks understood this very well as it provided a great source of income.  To protect this trade and the transport of goods it erected a series of Caravanserai (hotels if you will) to shelter the transporters and their animals overnight.  In 1240 they constructed the greatest of them all at Sultanhani.

The Seljuk's are noted for the exquisite stone carvings on the entrance ways of their structures

 

Marco Polo could have passed through here on his way east to the Court of Kublai Khan.

 

 

 

 

 

Further east in Persia, where the route crossed the desert, the caravaniers traveled at night.  To guide them there were a series of lighthouses with a fiery beacon to light there way at night.

 

 

 

Kapadokya

Cappadocia

 

There is a small region in western Anatolia, central Turkey, where the landforms have become so bizarre due to erosion and weathering.  That area is known as Kapadokya in Turkish, and Cappadocia in English.

Add to these landforms the works of monks, hermits and citizens and the area becomes a troglodyte village honey combed with caves, churches, chapels, monasteries, hidden cities and storage bins.

 

Hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. 

 

*                                *

 

 

There are dozens of churches and monasteries cut out of the rocks.  Some have frescos and some do not.  This one had some poorly preserved ones but we liked this place.  We had it all to ourselves, save for the Host Man who gave us a tour.

 

The first church cut into the rocks

 

 

On the right is the joining of an upper and lower church by removing the roof/floor

The Dining Hall.  The filled in trenches were for the monks legs and feet.  The center portion was the table.

The Host Man in the garden where he served us tea.

 

 

R2D2

In the spot next to us at Kaya Camping in Goreme was a young couple from Vienna with an eleven month old boy.  His happy chirp and chortle were reminiscent of the sounds of the Star Wars robot R2D2.

Here Florian sits with mother Veronika within their camper van while father Helmut is out of the picture.

 

In this campground we have met: Turks, Germans, Dutch, French, Spanish, Swiss, Poles and Iranians

 

 

 

 

To Fly with the Wind

 

 

Lars, a Swede, and his wife Kaili, a Brit, met while flying balloons in France before they risked it all and set up their own company in Cappadocia - Kapadokya Balloons.  Both are pilots and we flew with her upon recommendation from Wilco and Gonca.  Kaili remembered them because Gonca sang opera while aloft.

 

Our pilot - Kaili

 

Flying into Love Valley

 

 

And of course, the post flight Champagne toast.  But here in Turkey it is mixed with cherry juice.

I called it a Kapadokya Kir, Lars called it a Cloud Nine Cocktail

 

Next - Turkey 7 - Nemrud Dagi

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