Saturday, June 2, 2012

Turkey: Cappadocia

I told my sister that if she didn't live in Turkey, Cappadocia would never have been on my list of places to visit.  Not that I had anything against it, I just never knew it was a cool place to go.  

Well, it is.  

If you ever find yourself in Western Asia, you should go there.  Now you are more informed than I was.

Cappadocia is in central Turkey, and it full of interesting rock formations, canyons, and mountains.  It sort of reminded me of a mix between Arizona and the Black Hills of South Dakota.   Along with the natural landscape, there are hundreds of years of history: caves, underground cities, homes carved into the soft rock.  

Our Chacos were perfect for Cappadocia.  They felt much more at home than in Paris.  

We stayed at a great pension in the little town of Göreme that was cheap, clean, and had tasty breakfast. 

The kids loved playing outside in the yard. 

Here we are, getting ready for a long day of sightseeing and hiking.

We spent the first morning exploring the Göreme Open Air Museum, a site full of cave churches with paintings from the 11th century. 

We weren't allowed to take pictures of the intricate paintings.  Here's an example of some of the more simple designs.  

This picture is off the internet, but it's from one of the chapels we visited.  Amazing, huh?  Paintings over a thousand years old and some of them are in incredible shape.

Drew was a little unimpressed with all the history.

We found some great restaurants in Göreme.  Our favorite Turkish dishes so far are börek, gözleme, and pide.  

Afternoon of day one, we hiked to the top of a rock castle used by the Romans.  Great view along with drop-offs that made my sister very nervous. 

After hiking to the top, Abby declared it the best day of her life.  I think we have a tiny adventurer! 

Not sure if this guy felt the same way.  

 Day two, we traveled to Kaymaklı, an underground city used by Byzantine Christians in the 6th century.  When Persian or Arab armies invaded, beacons were lit to warn Christians.  The message could travel from Jerusalem to Constantinople as quickly as three hours.  When the warning came, entire cities moved underground into a complex system of tunnels and rooms, complete with ventilation shafts.  The upper levels were even used to store their animals!  It was mind-blowing to tour.  I kept wondering how they found their way around without electricity.  Parts of the tunnels were pretty claustrophobic!  

On our last night, we hiked a bit around the hills surrounding Göreme.  All was fun until a couple of wild dogs gave us a scare, but we made it out unscathed.  Here's a view of the sun setting, captured before the canines showed up.  :)

God is amazing.  His creation is incredible.  There is so much we have not seen.  Every new scene only expands my understanding of His majesty.  Thank you, Father, for this beautiful world.  


  1. I love Abby's comment! Thanks for sharing your travels with us!

  2. So I tried leaving a comment once and it didn't show up, so hopefully we'll have better luck this time.
    I think as you said you blog in spurts, I read your blog in spurts:) I just caught up on your life from about the last 6 weeks. It gives me such joy to know you're enjoying your family across the ocean! So happy for you guys!
    And this question is bugging me, silly it seems...when did you get bangs? I really like them:) Love you! Give the Hamann's a big hug for me!