Cappadocia

The landscape of Cappadocia mainly lies in the Eastern part of Anatolia, the stunning rock formations were once molten lava cooled down and weathered over millennia. The resulting effects of rocky earth in a semi-arid region all endowed with fairy chimneys, towering palaces, and busy trails making the region the most Instagrammed place of all time. Goreme is a village in the Cappadocia region that expands over the provinces Nevşehir, Kayseri, Aksaray, Kırşehir, Sivas and Niğde. Extremely popular with tourits Cappadocia caters to all kinds of culinary experiences and makes one feel very much at home, as do the numerous cave hotels in the village. The Cappadocia Cave hotel was once a space which the Hittites carved into the rock to produce rooms, workspaces, and living spaces. While Goreme records what happen over the ground, Kaymakli and Derinkyu record similar rock-cut dwellings under the ground, even at times at over 85 m. These underground cities were used to store grapes, make wine, sell wares, live, and pray especially when times got tough or the Hittites took refuge from incoming warrior tribes.

Each of these cities is extremely well-ventilated, lit through man-made means, but are air-fed through aptly located shafts and ventilation chambers. The crafted models guide the visitor through the space and once safely at the bottom of an underground city, for the not-so-faint-hearted, it is a revelation. These dwellings underground were never said to have been used as permanent dwellings but were used intermittently. But there are so many in the area, that the maze is real. Even while following a trail to the wild expanse we are greeted with churches and homes carved into a towering block of rock. All parts of the world are victims to the vicissitudes of climate change and Cappadocia is no less. The gases in the air erode the rocks even faster as they come in downpours, in an arid area it could mean a change in the landscape. Climate change is real, but that is what made the beautiful rock formations in the first place so the nature of impending doom is highly debatable. The ice age caused the present day, and the present day will cause another age, it is but a way of the world, just having no plastic does make the surroundings of the earth a lot more palatable!

Getting on one of the highly acclaimed trails in the region to the Red Valley and the Rose valley, named because of the colors of the rock formation, we lost our way and ended up in Mendesehir Valley walking through narrow passages between cut-out rock, the Goreme National park that is within the Mendesehir valley holds unique shrubbery of flora and thankfully no fauna! The region with all its dryness is extremely beautiful, but better avoided during a sunny day when the caves promptly come to rescue! While I treaded on to the Rose valley the spectacular scenes literally showcase the boss Artist of all time – God, and once we tread over to the Red valley the vast expanse of Cappadocia comes into full view, and it is here with the sky streaked in colors one cannot find logic in Atheism. Well Cappadocia, you make me a believer. The world in its raw natural state is so beautiful and as a part of this world, we humans are magical as well! I couldn’t then doubt when we find a multitude of churches in the trails. Churches that are beautifully adorned with indigo blue (from India), gilded golds, and bright yellows telling stories of Christ that want never be forgotten.

Good heavens! I wondered as I made my way inside the caves of Cappadocia and above the ground of Cappadocia. In the Hot Air Balloon we looked down on this vast landscape, while the host of balloons in the sky provided so much affluence, down below we saw men climbing trials and women running with long trailed dresses capturing the perfect moment in a picture-perfect place. With so much light bouncing off the landscape, there is no need for extra lighting! The light that Cappadocia lights within anyone who treads on it is well, more than enough. The nights in Cappadocia are magical as well, the man-made fairy lights compete with the fairy chimneys to bring magic in the air, and consequently in oneself. Tourist attractions are attractions for a reason, it is undebatable. Thriving on tourism the region does its best to present a pretty picture no matter what happens in the cities, Goreme is very Turkish in all its beauty, with a wild rose or two reminding one to not simply dismiss the aridity of the land it’s lacking. I for one turned a believer in more than one thing, but firstly and mostly in myself. The climb to the Red Valley was something and everything!