Day two finds us in the south central part of the country in the Cappadocia district. As mentioned yesterday it is known for it’s fantastic rock formations, the horses, and as a site of early Christians. We saw all three (well, the houses and churches of the early Christians as they are all too long dead for us to meet). Göreme is a small town located outside the larger Nevsehir.
My first impressions of the place are a lot different than what I expected from my research. I expected a lot more gloss and glimmer that are typically found around tourist type places. And while Göreme is fairly touristy, it is a more grimey sort of tourism. Instead of a few larger tour companies there are lots of random companies scattered around town. I feel that there are a lot of really good companies, but I imagine that with all these guides, there have to be some that are less than stellar.
That being said, our hotel is pretty awesome for both the room and the tours they offer. In fact, they make a point to mention that they won’t drop you off in a market or shop, as it seems a lot of tour companies will be in cahoots with these type shopping places. More on the tours later.
Today we walked to the Göreme Open Air Museum, a collection of churches that date back to the 11th century. They are all carved into the rocks and offer a great glimpse into the life of early Christian monks. The vast majority of the interiors have mosaics on the cielings and walls. Most of the mosaics have faded over time due to the sunlight or defacement. In fact, most of the faces have been intentionaly destroyed for one reason or another. From what I’ve learned, defacements of icons and mosaics come about due to differing religions (Muslims and Christians) or different sects within a religion (Latin and Eastern Orthodox). I’m not sure what the case is here.
Tomorrow we will head out on one of
the aforementioned tours to a region south of here. We’ll see some Greek towns, a monastery, and an underground city.
Also, can someone let me know if the video I posted is showing up? I am typing these on my phone and not sure if everything is going through.