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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gorme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Hi again:

Cappidocia reminds me of Tatooine, the desert planet in "Star Wars".  It is a strange landscape. It was settled many years ago, but it's most important and famous colonizers were the early Christians who came here and dug churches out of the volcanic rock. Here is one of them.

There are a bunch of churches here. They are all over the place.

They are abandoned now, but they still have some beautiful frescoes inside. Unfortunately, it is not permitted to take pictures of the frescoes, but here are a couple off the internet.

Several famous Saints lived here, at least for a while. I can picture the monks sitting around this table, laughing and joking.

They had it all here: kitchens, larders, bedrooms -- the lot. And of course, places to make and store wine. Gotta have wine if you are going to live in a rock.

The soft rock is left behind by volcanoes. It was carved into "fairy towers" by nature, but it is easily carved into churches and rooms by humans (I think "easily" might be a relative term). I loved the entrance to this church. Gotta bow down low to enter this House of God.

This church, high on a hill, is the most famous. It is the "Dark Church" because they didn't cut any windows into it. As a result, sunlight and nature was not able to destroy the frescoes inside --- the ones I am not allowed to take pictures of.

Here is a shot of me just to prove that I was really there.

If you want, you can go sit on a camel and get your picture taken. I passed on this, and also on a picture atop a donkey.

Want to buy a jug from the potter down the road?

This has been a relaxing couple of days here in this little town. I am kind of killing time waiting to go to Istanbul to meet my daughter and son-in-law in three days. It is kind of ironic: when I first got to Turkey I thought I had to rush to make my meeting with Jessica and Renaud. Now, I find myself with time on my hands. This is how my wife likes to travel, nice and easy. No rush, no fuss. I have been relaxing in my room and reading. This morning I got up early and went up on the roof of this pension, up where I enjoy breakfast each morning, and I watched the balloons fly over. 

There were a bunch of them (about 40 on a typical morning they say). Sometimes they fly very low. They say you can reach out from them and pick fruit off the trees.

I didn't think I wanted to do this, but after watching them this morning I figure it is an experience to add to the old "Bucket List".

Meanwhile, my poor motorcycle sits down there in the street all lonely. I think I will take him out for a ride this morning and do some exploring.

I will let you know how the balloon ride goes. They pick me up here at my pension at 4:15 a.m. (yawn). When I get back, I will head up toward Ankara, the country's capital.

Gule, Gule


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