And so to the land of the Fairy Chimneys

Cappadocia Travel Blog

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Views from the bus

Very early rise at 5am for our bus to Cappadocia.  Taxi picked us up at 5:30am to take us to the Otogar; we were on the bus by 6am.  The journey was about 3.5 hours and the countryside was mainly flat very different from our Fehtiye to Konya trip.  As we left Neveshir Otogar we only had another 15 minutes and I wondered why we were so close but not a fairy chimney in sight! As we headed over a hill there they were my first sighting of the fairy chimney’s and what a strange site they were!   We were dropped off on the main road next to the Otogar; the bus couldn’t go into the Otogar because the children’s day parade was occupying it!  Our Pension was an easy 100 meter stroll up a side street. When we arrived at Kose Pension we found our room was occupied! We told them we had made a reservation the day before so the guy in our room was kicked out as he hadn’t made a reservation! While we waited for our room to be cleaned we sat and had a cup of tea and looked through the day tour brochures.  The pension has a resident dog called Spot, half Dalmatian and half pointer it seem to take a shine to me, maybe he thought I would be a good walking companion!  After dumping our stuff into our freshly cleaned room we headed in to town to find some travel agents to see what tours they could give us of the east. We went into two and both could only give us a 3 day 2 night tour, we didn’t want that there tours cram in so much you would be too tired to enjoy it.  Zehra said she would phone her friend to see what he could do for us.  Zehra was hungry so we stopped at a cafe for a quick bite to eat. We then browsed a few shops on our way up towards the Open Air Museum where we decided to spend the afternoon.  The walk up to the museum was about a couple of kilometres and we walked through the lovely fairy chimney scenery.

Band plays for Children's Day
As we neared the museum we could see about 20 tour buses in the car park, oh god this wasn’t going to be fun! We walked through the market stall strip and as we started to head up the stairs there were a group of camels all dressed up and nowhere to go so decided to take a photo as the backdrop of the fairy chimneys would make a nice backdrop. Just as I positioned myself one of the cameleers walked towards me and wanted 3 Euros to take a picture, I told him to get stuffed! We continued up the stairs towards the entrance he was watching me all the way up so I pulled a face at him!

The Open Air Museum is one of Turkey’s world heritage sites. It’s an important Byzantine monastic settlement that house some 20 monks then a pilgrimage site from the 17th century. The area has some rock cut churches, chapels and monasteries. After we entered we followed the cobbled path towards the first chapel but it was too busy with tourists so we headed to the next where we had to go through a tunnel when we emerged into an opening we were trapped with yet again a tour group so out we went. We decided the best approach would be to get ahead of the tour groups and start at the top then work our way back down to these chapels later.  We clambered up the hill where there were less tourists and it was much better we could venture inside the churches without much trouble. Some churches still had painted frescoes of bible scenes, not all caves were churches some were living areas with cut out holes for storage. One cave even had a carved stone table with stone benches around it, quite impressive.  Some rooms were interconnecting with tunnels and arch ways so we made our way through them.  When we reached the dark church we found we had to pay an extra 8 liras to see it, the reason is it had the most spectacular of all frescoes and the payment went towards its up keep.  We paid the 8 liras and went inside, it was definitely worth it, the frescoes were amazing and vert colourful it was like a mini Sistine chapel. A small window was the only source of light into this little church hence why the frescoes kept so well, but electric lighting was installed so we the tourists could see them clearly.  We had one more church to visit on the hill before heading back down to the two other churches we missed at the beginning we hoped by the time we got back down the crowd had thinned out a bit.  As we waiting to go into this last hilltop church I went over to look at a couple of cave rooms below it, as I stepped out I did the classic trip and went down like a sack of potatoes! Once again I had an audience I was doing well at this. I was helped up and had many concerned people hovering around me making sure I was OK.  Zehra had missed this one when I told her she had a good laugh!

We climbed the ladder to look at the church then headed back down the hill to see the Basil and Apple church that we had missed at the beginning.

My new friend, Spot the Dog!
  We had spent two hours here which was about the right amount of time, if you space yourself out between the tour groups then you can see the site quite comfortably or better still come early in the morning before the hoards turn up!  When we came out the entrance there was a chap selling the stretchy ice-cream so I decided to try one, I had chocolate and Zehra tried the lemon, it was very nice, very chewy!

We walked off the ice cream by clambering up a hill to a lookout which was on the opposite side of the road; the lookout gave us some nice views over the museum and surrounding area.  On our way back there was another church to see carved into a chimney. This church known as Buckle Church was lovely, it was different, much larger than the others we had seen and had lovely columns all painted with frescoes so I took a video of this church as photos wouldn’t do it any justice. The vaulted entry was also richly decorated with paintings of the life of Jesus. There were stairs that went down into room that had holes in the floor that would have once contained tombs.  We called it a day after this and headed back to the Pension via a pottery shop and a few carpet shops but we found the carpets too expensive compared to other places we had been, not surprising it was Cappadocia after all.  We had dinner in that night, the pension did home cooked meals, the meal was OK not the best we had.  We also booked our tour for the next day, we chose a one day tour of the underground city, Ihlara valley etc, places that would need a car to get to.  We had also met the owner of the Pension that evening, a Scottish lady who had been in Cappadocia 26 years.  She seemed a bit stressed and we had to ask her 3 times if she had booked our tour, we got annoyed in the end as we weren’t getting a straight answer!  We liked our comfortable room but we weren’t too impressed with the staff so far.

 

 

skippyed says:
My friend isn't a hiker so I will have to do all that stuff with my hubby next time I visit :-)
Posted on: Apr 25, 2010
skippyed says:
That's in my next chapter!
Posted on: Apr 25, 2010
Eric says:
Oh another thing to look out for is that a lot of the tours take you to jewelery/stone shops. They advertise it as an informational session on how different crafts are made, but in reality they are just trying to sell you stuff. Not sure if it's possible to find tours without these added "bonuses", as they can be time consuming and somewhat frustrating if you are on a tight schedule or don't want to shop.
Posted on: Apr 25, 2010
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Views from the bus
Views from the bus
First sighting of cappadocia
First sighting of cappadocia
Band plays for Childrens Day
Band plays for Children's Day
My new friend, Spot the Dog!
My new friend, Spot the Dog!
Kose Pension
Kose Pension
Fairy Chimneys in Goreme
Fairy Chimney's in Goreme
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Lovely frescoes in Buckle Church
Lovely frescoes in Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Buckle Church
Heading towards Open Air Museum
Heading towards Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Inside one of the churches at the …
Inside one of the churches at the…
Frescoes in the Open Air Museum
Frescoes in the Open Air Museum
Inside one of the cave dwellings, …
Inside one of the cave dwellings,…
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Passages and stairs interconnect c…
Passages and stairs interconnect …
Inside a Church,Open Air Museum
Inside a Church,Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Outside the Dark Church, Open Air …
Outside the Dark Church, Open Air…
Beautiful Frescoes inside the Dark…
Beautiful Frescoes inside the Dar…
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Gorgeous frescoes inside the Dark …
Gorgeous frescoes inside the Dark…
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church,Open Air Museum
Dark Church,Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Dark Church, Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Open Air Museum
Views of the Open Air Museum
Views of the Open Air Museum
Pottery and Paper tree near the Po…
Pottery and Paper tree near the P…
Cappadocia
photo by: EmyG