Tuesday, April 24, 2007

when in gerome...

After Ren's exhaustive entry on Cappadocia I don't think there is really much more I could say about the area. I'll try to fill in some of the gaps anyway.

Goreme was the first place in Turkey where the tourists seemed to outnumber the locals. Kiwi's Aussies, Japanese and Germans were everywhere!

the town catered slightly to western culture.
we rode with the family down the street through the courtesy of blistered feet. We stayed at the Kose Pension, a really mellow environment with all the comforts of home. Chess, laundry service, veggie meals for Ren, plenty of tables for playing shithead*, wi-fi, and use of the lovely pool. We were told that at this time last year the pool was thumpin' and bumpin' (as pools are known to do) and the weather was hot! Luckily for us the first two days we were in Goreme it was snowing when we woke up.

we had full access to the pool at Kose. Goreme is a bit of a backpackers paradise, but the touristy aspects of the the town were far outweighed by the beauty of the surrounding area, and in less then 10 minute walk you could be out of town and engulfed by a surreal landscape.

View from just outside of town. note the snow on the mesa. On most of our hikes we were guided by the Kose affiliated Spotty, who knew where all the best vista points. Mark and fellow backpacker Tavi overlooking Rose valley. View from the top of aformentioned mesa.Inside the valleys the hills and rocks were riddled with carved caves and churches. Some of the carved out areas in the walls were pigeon houses. The locals would use pigeons for many things. The eggs for eating and egg whites for mixing paints. The pigeon droppings were good fertilizer, and the pigeons were good messengers. But even more interesting were the churches. Most were built during Roman times by early Christians. Hidden in the rocks becuase at the time Christianity wasn't even considered a religion, it was more of a cult.

Action Mark poking his head out after climping up to a pigeon house.
What might look like this from the outside......could look like this on the inside! wow! (this one had many rooms)
Some churches looked like they were decorated by Ron Rege jr.
Other churches like the Karanlik Lilise (or dark church) were filled with frescos.
The eyes and faces were scratched out of the frescos due to the muslim belief in not depicting the face.
creating some very eerie imagry.
While still other carvings will remain shrouded in mystery for all eternity.
While Ren and Tavi rented scooters and Mark spent the day doing work, Anna (aussie backpacker) and I went to Derinkuyu, the sight of the largest of the underground cities. The area of Cappadocia is also filled with about 36 underground cities located out and about the surrounding area. Derinkuyu is 85 meters deep and consists of 7 different levels. It was originally dug by the Hitites as a grainery to keep produce fresh for as long as possible. Eventually, as more levels were added, it was used to hide from rampaging hordes. They would live down there for months at a time. The underground city was equiped with stables, a church and a school. as well as a fully working winery and communications system. Pretty neat.
view of the underground city from above ground.Under the ground. I was trying to take photos without a flash, but most came out very blurry. Sorry!
Also, while in Goreme, I came closer than I ever have before to finding the answers I've been looking for. (it's the whole reason i joined up with GlobTrans in the first place)

Goreme's world famous Ufo museum and cafeteriaOnly 50 meters away from the answers! I am glad to know i am not alone!!! (somebody's gotta be holding the camera)
At the last minute I turned back from the ramshackle shack containing the proof I'd been searching for since jr. high school english class. I learned long ago from shows like the "X-files" and more recently "Lost" you should never find any answers, only raise more questions (that way they can drag the plot out and make the show last more seasons).

perhaps the answers are here. ¿Qué Sucedió a Maxi Rodriguez?

*shithead I guess is a backpacker card game (not to be confused with Besiklas rules shithead, which is a whole different game alltogether)

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