Sand Cave people, where Star Wars IV wasn't filmed

Trip Start Jun 08, 2011
Trip End Nov 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Star Cave Hotel Goreme
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Cappadocia Cave Dwellings Urgup
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Friday, March 9, 2012

  The snow this time of year was a nice contrast to the monotonous brown/tan landscape that envelopes the entire area.  Wondering around finding my Cave Pension I was confused on the similarities of names and the lack of creativity in the tourist destination town of Gerome (star cave hotel, cave star, cave suite across from suites cave hotel... C'mon man).
   Anyway, turns out cave hotel rooms are dark and great for naps, rests, and sleeps.  The photos of this location might do more justice than I can describe.  Well what I gathered the geology of the region to form the fairy chimneys and carvable substrate is as follows.  Seismic activity created volcanic mountains and subsequent valleys. the mountains blew up and covered the valleys in "Tufa ash" then later lava flowed in covering the hardened ash w/ magma.  Then it rained for a few hundred millenia eroding the volcanic basalt slower than the hardened ash below .  Forming the "fairy Chimneys" that our guide pointed out annoying often looks like; dogs, cosmic squirrels, dolphins, sharks, camels, old men, monsters, human hands, dragons, snakes.  Not sure what special Turkish cigarettes he was smoking but I didn't see anything that he described, except the camel that one was easy. 
  I was unprepared for the cold temperature and quickly bargained my way into a 3 dollar "local" hat.  I always gotta dress like a local so I blend in better.
  Everything back in the ancient day was carved into the terrain, rocks , mountians, or just straight down.

   Then we checked out the longest river in Turkey (or at least the headwaters of it), where the clay for the pottery of the area is collected and wheeled/kilned/glazed and painted.  What a muddy cycle of art...   
   To escape persecution the early Christians dug out elaborate underground cities (not cave persay since they were solid earth before they were slowly scraped away at).  I explored 9 floors of the 16 in the one labyrinth open to public (well 10 percent is open to exploring).  Couldn't imagine living underground w/ 30000 other people for up to two months w/ out coming up to the surface.  Apparently it was life or death.  they had many strategies from small tunnels so the roman behemoth warriors couldn't charge very effectively, immense stone rolling doors, hollering tubes, wine pressing rooms, schools, churches, mortuary, kitchens, stables, and everything a city needs all underground some parts over 300 feet.
  then we came up for air and it was time for the most enjoyable part of all my tours... Lunch.  this time we went to a national park canyon where I was told about the special regulation fishing and history of the 2nd oldest or deepest or widest canyon.  I was a little sleepy for that part.  Just looks at the pictures...
   More caves, and the theme of everything being carved out of rocks.

   Then I took a night bus to a town everyone told me I shouldn't go to... turns out there wasn't much there and I took another night bus the same day (does that make sense/is that possible) total of 24 hrs of buses in 48hrs and ended back in istanbul for a day of rest and relaxation and Nargile.
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Jerry McD on

I find it fitting that you took up lodging in a cave . . . and I'm jealous.

drew on

mike, did you say hi to any of my family in ordu? also, i can't travel vicariously with out food. how about some food pic's on the next blog.

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