Wednesday 10 January 2024

More fairy castles

Another day in Cappadocia. Cappadocia actually means land of the beautiful horse, however we haven't seen any at all, although we have seen lots of camels. Unofficially it is also called the land fairy castles, and we saw loads of those again today.

Our first stop was the Goreme Open Air Museum, which was a collection of rocks that had been hollowed out by Christians in the 12th and 13th century. Some of them were homes, but lots were churches with beautiful murals on the walls and ceilings. 

It was interesting and a good start to the day, with the not so pleasant surprise in one cave of seeing two skeletons in open coffins that were tastefully floodlit. 

Next we went to the Valley of the Imagination, where rocks are supposed to resemble animals. The camel was very good, but does need a bit of imagination. 

Darren climbed up next to it to add a bit of scale. 

The rocks are everywhere, stretching miles across the countryside and are fantastic things to see from every angle. 

Next on the agenda was the Valley of the Monks. In the olden days monks used to go to this valley and spend 40 days in the wilderness trying to find peace of mind. 

These 'fairy castles' are made of the same basalt and tufa rocks as yesterday, but the lines of the rocks are so much more noticeable here. Also further to the left this photo are stumps where the basalt rock has fallen off the top and the softer tufa is wearing quite quickly away, and to the right is more solid ground that has not yet started break up.

This collection of rocks was used as a monastery and our group all walked up the hill and round the back. 

This was the entrance to the building, although it is all gradually eroding, and some parts of it are quite dangerous. 

We all had a great time clambering up into the different rooms and exploring. 

You can really see in this photo how the rock had worn away and the little channel where people have walked for hundreds of years. 

Going back to the subject of rocks looking like animals, this is my own opinion, but I think that the rock on the left really looks like a rabbit and even has eyes, a nose and mouth. 

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