Without hesitation I can say that Cappadocia is Turkey’s visually most striking area. It’s a common name of few regions in Central Anatolia. A unique place where nature wonder and history come together with one of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
My obvious affection for Cappadocia started right upon the arrival at the village where I have been staying. Uchisar is a lovely little town on the highest part of the valley. With an amazing castle on top of it.
Location of this hollowed out fortress indicates a strategic importance in the Silk Road times. It was build on the massive rock, the fairy chimneys colonies with their rare grey color on the lower skirts of the castle looks like big apartment buildings which house many people even till today.
I have been staying in a real rock dwelling that has been converted into a hotel, Museum Hotel. An outstanding place with the Turtle’s Garden overlooking an astonishing valley. The land under my feet seemed wild and endless. You could admire white, yellow and pink rock formations almost till Goreme.
Main attractions are wildly spreading over the whole region. My affair with Cappadocia started from Goreme Open Air Museum. Which is declared the World Heritage by UNESCO. Place abound with large number of churches and monasteries carved into the rocks.
One can admire fascinating frescoes on the walls from different time periods. Most of the settlements in Cappadocia were established as the monastic communities and became an important center of monasticism. It lasted from 4th till the 14th century.
Pasabag Monks Valley from afar looks like a giant fairy tale park. Bursting with the enigmatic rock formations. And intriguing examples of the fairy chimneys. You can see them through the grapevines and fruit trees. They look like enormous monks running up the hill. They have all shapes and sizes. Some of them have more then one head. Some interesting body shapes while some other more then one body. They are real nature wonder.
The most beautiful dales of the region await between Uchisar and Goreme. The Pigeon Valley is teeming with rock churches. Natural tunnels and thousand pigeon’s houses is located there. People used to believe that pigeons were sacred. Until now they take great care of those birds here.
Cappadocia is booming with picturesque villages like Cavusin and endless valleys. Derbent is relatively young rock formation called as well ‘Imagination Valley’. Everyone see something different in those rocks. I have seen a camel and three dolphins. Some say they have seen penguins and the Mother Mary. You can find here mysterious underground cities, but that’s a material for yet another trip here.
All those above are extraordinary and impressive places but my best memories are from Avanos. This town on the bank of Kizihrmak River is known for long tradition of pottery. You can stop here and visit famous pottery artists in their rock carved workshops. And try your hand on the potter’s wheel under the tutelage of a master.
Of course with my spirit for any adventure I was up for it, but not well prepared. Soft grey dress and silver sandals are not an ideal outfit to play with clay. Thanks to hospitality of the owner I have got so-called ‘Cappadocian jeans’. No comments on the style and design.
After few laughs and pictures the class has started. With my well manicured orange nails, which were rather a aggravation then help in this situation. I have done so well that I have been proposed a job. Two years of apprenticeship for board and lodging. I have told them it sounds like a fantastic opportunity which unfortunately I have to refuse with a broken heart.
There are not many places I wouldn’t mind visiting again and definitely Cappadocia is one of them.