New Years and Cappadocia

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”

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We had no plans for New Years, so we were quite happy to spend the night at an Eco farm we had been staying at in order to celebrate with a twenty year old French guy, a Turkish women, and a German/Turkish man in his fifties who cooked us a wonderful meal. We spent the last few hours of 2014 playing an intense game of ass-hole which ended just thrifty seconds before the New Year in the most dramatic way possible which left us all howling with laughter. My brother, who had left the night before on what was suppose to be an eleven hour bus ride, spent New Years in the bus, as his ride ended up taking three times as long as it should have (32 hours) because of the snow. Thankfully, he still arrived in time to catch his flight back to university, and ended up experiencing the kindness of Turks as many of his fellow bus travelers gave him food and presents in order for his extra long journey to pass more smoothly.

The three of us then headed to Cappadocia, a region famous in Turkey for its funny rock formations, caves, and underground cities. Those of you who have been with us for a while may remember it as a few weeks ago Kevin and I came here with our bikes (click here for the blogpost about it), but even so, it was fun to visit again with my friend.

The balloon rides are very famous in Cappaocia, and though there are only a few dozen of them in the air during the winter, apparently in the summer you can see hundreds.

The balloon rides are very famous in Cappaocia, and though there are only a few dozen of them in the air during the winter, apparently in the summer you can see hundreds.

Horse tours are also popular, though we preferred simply walking so that we could stop and explore whenever we felt like it.

Horse tours are also popular, though we preferred simply walking so that we could stop and explore whenever we felt like it.

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Many of the doorways are quite small, and since its pitch black inside, you had better have a flashlight with you!

Many of the doorways are quite small, and since its pitch black inside, you had better have a flashlight with you!

This is pretty typical, to see many doors and windows all over one rocks. It's fun to imagine how many cave houses must have been used in its prime!

This is pretty typical, to see many doors and windows all over one rocks. It’s fun to imagine how many cave houses must have been used in its prime!

Inside one of the caves. Most of the rooms have shelves or cubbies in the wall.

Inside one of the caves. Most of the rooms have shelves or cubbies in the wall.

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One of many beautifully small valleys throughout the region.

One of many beautifully small valleys throughout the region.

A few more windows, and in the distance, another town of caves surrounding a tall rock.

A few more windows, and in the distance, another town of caves surrounding a tall rock.

Kevin and I!

Kevin and I!

Myra (our friend) looking very small with all the rocks.

Myra (our friend) looking very small with all the rocks.

We came across a whole network of hallways which we followed until we arrived at a collapsed one. Very interesting to imagine hallways in ever rock we came across after that!

We came across a whole network of hallways which we followed until we arrived at a collapsed one. Very interesting to imagine hallways in ever rock we came across after that!

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An impressive cave filled rock which we visited. Many of the rooms were huge, and all together, it seemed like a whole up there!

An impressive cave filled rock which we visited. Many of the rooms were huge, and all together, it seemed like a whole up there!

Many of the hotels in the area have used old caves (or have created their own) in order to advertise "cave rooms." This here is a fancier hotel, whereas we stayed in a simple (but lovely!) hostel for ten bucks a night.

Many of the hotels in the area have used old caves (or have created their own) in order to advertise “cave rooms.” This here is a fancier hotel, whereas we stayed in a simple (but lovely!) hostel for ten bucks a night.

Another view of the enormous "cave city."

Another view of the enormous “cave city.”

Many of the shops, restaurants, and even some of the houses are still built with parts of old caves.

Many of the shops, restaurants, and even some of the houses are still built with parts of old caves.

The three of us!

The three of us!

We visited the open air museum, a section of Cappaocia with many churches though we were quite unimpressed as we had found other churches and caves which were much more spectacular (and free) by just wandering around. These churches were built during the 10-12 century, because during that period of time, Turkey was primarily Christian. (Sorry practically no photos cause they weren’t allowed.) Many of the churches have beautiful frescos, though for the most part the people’s faces have been scratched out as many attempts to ruin them were made once the region converted to Islam.

A random church we found during our walk which still had decorations.

A random church we found during our walk which still had decorations.

We found a two story church during our explorations which had frescos as well as carvings for decorations.

We found a two story church during our explorations which had frescos as well as carvings for decorations.

Some of the frescos were in better shape than others, depending on how much sunlight was let into a room. This one has also been repeatedly destroyed throughout the centuries.

Some of the frescos were in better shape than others, depending on how much sunlight was let into a room. This one has also been repeatedly destroyed throughout the centuries.

Lunch anyone? We found this large stone table in one of the rooms in the museum.

Lunch anyone? We found this large stone table in one of the rooms in the museum.

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We also visited an underground city which was very interesting as we had never seen anything like it before. The one we visited could hold up to 20,000 plus their livestock at one time, but boy would that cramped living underground have been miserable! They created these cities in order to escape persecution, so they had many protection features such as huge stone doors which would roll into place.

One of hundreds (or thousands?) of rooms underground which make up this underground city.

One of hundreds (or thousands?) of rooms underground which make up this underground city.

One of the rolling stone doors which, when put properly into place, would prevent any invaders from entering.

One of the rolling stone doors which, when put properly into place, would prevent any invaders from entering.

A large room near the bottom, many stories down.

A large room near the bottom, many stories down.

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Updating the blog in our hotel room! Though in some ways it’s been nice for planning (we. Ought our flight fo Ushuaia, the very southern tip of Argentina, and even found a host) it’s been frustrating always having internet because I find myself wasting hours on it. Thankfully in one more week we will be truly disconnected once we start our journey through the Andes!! But don’t worry, the blog will continue, and if you would would like to find out how this blog works, even without internet, click on the link!

Reading my kindle as I update the blog. I've read over 2,500 pages in the last three weeks, so Kevin is really regretting the fact that he bought it for me!

Reading my kindle as I update the blog. I’ve read over 2,500 pages in the last three weeks, so Kevin is really regretting the fact that he bought it for me!

For a photo of the day and other updates follow me on facebook here, and for some awkwardly cropped photos from our journey, follow us on Instagram @awanderingphoto!

7 thoughts on “New Years and Cappadocia

  1. Vraiment un beau coin de pays. Il faudra que je retourne en Turquie un jour pour y faire une visite! As-tu reçu ton guidon et tes pièces de vélo…j”ai bien hâte de le voir et de recueillir tes impressions! (Je vais l’essayer sur le mien aussi!)

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