Monday, April 7, 2008

Cappadocia Diary - 2

Getting a little behind here... Our hosts hired us a taxi driver to take us around to all the sites worth seeing in the short time we had, and there was a lot to see. The Cappadocia region is all about caves. The volcanic tuff is fairly easy to carve out, but when exposed to air it becomes very hard. If there was a rock big enough to hold a person, you can bet it was carved out and used. There were some really amazing structures carved into the hills, mountains, and even boulder-size formations. Villages, cities, and even castles, including churches small and massive, and complete monasteries were cut from the rock. Some are still in use, and many entrepreneurs have added on to these to build cave houses and cave hotels.

For me, the most impressive structures were the underground cities. It is really hard to describe just how fascinating and well thought out these things were. It seems there was not a detail overlooked. In all of these places, it didn't take much to imagine myself traveling back in time and seeing events unfold, from the mundane to the important. Being in touch with so much of human history was very humbling, and we barely scratched the surface of all there is to learn here.

It would be easy to spend an entire trip in Cappadocia, and it wouldn't be terrible if all that time were spent staying in Urgup at Esbelli Evi. Great hosts, great accomodations, great food, great everything.

One of the nice surprises of this trip is that the creator of the one and only - a former travel writer for Fodors and Lonely Planet - was staying at our hotel. Since we hadn't planned out the last part of our trip, we were able to go straight to the best resource available to help us figure out how to make the best use of our limited time.
Details on that to follow.

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