Goreme, City of Fairies

Trip Start Sep 01, 2004
Trip End Apr 25, 2005

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Sunday, September 5, 2004

Hi All,
Our original plan was to take the train from Istanbul to Ankara and then rent a car to tour the rest of Turkey. When waying the expense and hastles of taking the train with renting a car in Isanbul and driving, the car won out. We drove all day yesterday from Istanbul and arrived here in Goreme at 11:00pm.

What an incredible surprise when we came into this enchanting village. It is almost indescribable. Everywhere you look is a cone shaped formation of lava anywhere from 20 to 100+ feet high. Everyone over the years have built their homes in them. They have taken the lava, cut building stones with it, and added to these formations to creat beautiful structures. At night the windows are lit up and there are lights all around town. It looks like a fantacy world. We are sleeping in one of them, and the restaurant at our pension is on the roof top, so we have a fantastic view of the town.

The Turkish people are so friendly and helpful. All try to help you even if they don't understand a word your saying. They talk really fast and wave there arms.

We are reading a book on world religions so that we can try to understand the muslim religion. Most of the women here are covered from head to toe in varying degrees. The extreme is when they dress in a wool coat to the ground with sleeves that cover their hands. One woman was pregnant and it was at least 95 degrees that day. There is a mosque every 5 blocks. All of the mosques have a clergy that calls everyone to prayer over a loud speaker 5 times a day. The first being at 5:30am. No alarm clock necessary! They chant/sing for about 15 minutes. Very haunting.

We took a drive around to the various sites and picked up a young tour guide along the way. He spoke perfect english and we had a great time with him. Churches built into the cliffs and tufa chimneys dating from the 7th century to the 13th century. This country has a comlex history, and many interesting layers of culture to understand.

Also on the adjenda today was a carpet factory, an under ground pottery factory, and a drive in a river bed out to a secret valley with penis shaped formation which are attached for your enjoyment.

Tomorrow we are headed to the Southern coast, then we will follow the coast back to Istanbul.

Until the next internet cafe....Love to all, Don and Jo
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