Saturday, June 22, 2013

Trekking in Cappadocia, Turkey

Our second day in the Cappadocia region of Central Anatolia, Turkey, we opted for an early rise to spend the day exploring the rocky valleys on foot.  It was an unforgettable trek, as we ventured through a stunning physical and cultural landscape.  Since I want to share quite a few photos to give you an idea of how our eight-hour walk unfolded, here is the album link:

A few notes on the photos, as I didn't caption all of them....  Cappadocia, named as such since the sixth century B.C., has alternately been under the control of the Persians, Romans, Byzantines before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1700s.  The characteristic soft volcanic rock was shaped by running water over 7 million years ago,  and the resulting tall, oblong structures provided protection to early Christians from invaders of other faiths.  The Goreme area, which is pictured in our photo album, was a monastic center from approximately 300 to 1200 A.D. Dwellings, churches and other spaces were created by simply chiseling into the rock.  Thus, the rooms were susceptible to collapse, and only the most stable ones are available for visitation and habitation in the modern day.  At the end of the album are a few photos of a Turkish folk dance parade and competition that we had no idea was going on- lucky us!  The finals are about to start, about five blocks from our hotel, so off we go!

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