The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cappadocia in Central Turkey

In my last post I told you about going to see the Chimaera. It is a burning mountain where flames come out of cracks in the rock. I went up there in the dark, so I wasn't able to show you any daylight pictures.

To get up to the Chimaera, you have to go through this funky little, two street town on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a full-of-backpackers kind of place.

The two streets of the little town are made of dust. That's okay, because the floor of the cafe I ate in is made of dirt also.

There was a time I probably would have enjoyed staying at one of the packpacker hotels there. Not any more. Now I crave peace, quiet, and a bit more comfort and cleanliness. I picked out Hotel Canada in Cirali, and I am glad I did.  The owners are Saban and Carrie Akkelle. They are really nice. Carrie talked to me for the longest time.

Saban, on the left, is from a city here in southern Turkey. Carrie is from Calgary, Canada. I kidded her about being a cowgirl. They met when they were working on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship. That was several years ago, I think, because they have grown children. They worked together to build this lovely resort.

I asked them if they knew somewhere in the area where I could hide under a tree and do some much needed maintenance on my motorcycle. Saban graciously moved a van and allowed me to work in the back of the resort. Thanks, Saban. Odysseus, my motorcycle, need that oil change and chain tightening in the worst way; He was long overdue for it.

It was a long, long driving day for me yesterday. I drove along the sea for awhile, past towns that reminded me of Palm Beach.

Carrie had given me excellent directions to get up to Cappadocia (Thanks Carrie).  There are a lot of strange things to see in Cappadocia. For one thing, there are several underground cities where the early Christians used to live and hide from the bad guys.

It must have been hard work digging these rooms and tunnels out of the rock. Fortunately, the rock is pretty soft.

I once had a movie, back in the day when I taught biology. It was called "Castles of Clay" To make it, they put cameras inside a termite mound in Africa and filmed the little critters living there. This underground city reminded me of a termite colony.

The Christians had bedrooms and storerooms down there, and even a church. Please tell me that is not blood on top the altar stone.

They even had ventilation shafts so that they could have fresh air. And here is a room where they stored their wine. I an thinking they poured their wine into big bottles and put the bottles in the niches in the cave floor.

It was mostly just me and a few others wandering around down under the earth today. I guess Turkey is not too afraid of lawsuits because I could go anywhere I wanted down there, and some of those places I went were dark. I didn't fall down any deep ventilation shaft, but I did hit my head and scrape my back several times.

I didn't notice this face on the wall when I took the picture.  Do you think he looks like me? Alright! Who said he's prettier?

Not too far away is a town called Gorme where they have carved some modern rooms out of the soft rock. You can see a bunch of house windows if you enlarge this next picture.

Here is a picture of Gorme, the town. I think it looks like the desert planet on Star Wars.

This place is quite the tourist draw. People come from all over to stay in one of those cave rooms. I looked into staying in one myself, but it was not what I had pictured (cushions on the floor, Etc.) I decided to stay at a regular pension instead.

As I was filling out the registration form, I came to the section where it wanted to know which of my relatives I protest. I could not resist putting down my brother-in-law's name. Sorry Dave. Please forgive me.

More later,

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