Burton Dane Travels

We're traveling through Europe and parts nearby for a year. We'll be posting our pix and adventures here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ihlara Canyon

Today we joined a tour group to see some of the sites around Cappadocia. We’ve seen a lot of tours come and go during our travels. Usually happy to see them go. I’ve been shouldered aside, stood in front of and corralled. A few weeks ago I started to bait them. You just stand right in front of the next famous painting. Act like you are so engrossed in the artist’s message and technique that you don’t notice the thirty people staring at the back of your head. OK, perhaps you’d call that passive aggressive..... I don’t know.

Yesterday we watched a Chinese tour file one-by-one out of a tiny stone doorway for minutes. It looked like a variation on a clown car.

Our tour got off to a weird start when one of the Americans asked pointed questions about the Kurds. Turkey has a few tough geo-political problems and this is one of them. They also aren’t too happy about the mess Americans are making next door in Iraq and threatening to do in Iran (another neighbor). But on to the tour

We hiked through the Ihlara Canyon for about 7 km next to a stream and past many 8th to 13th century cave dwellings and churches. These are carved out of the live volcanic tuffa rock. We saw hundreds and hundreds of these. Some as high as 100 feet off the ground.

The frescoes included Egyptian influenced images that predated the Byzantine ones. The most developed one was a monastery that housed up to 10,000 people at one time.

We ended the trip in the Church of Guzelyurt. This was built around 360 for Saint Gregory. This is the oldest Christian church we’ve been in. It’s now an active mosque and this was the first time Ben and I have ever been in one (2nd time for Jules). No pictures were allowed.



  • At 9:37 PM , Blogger Greenwalds said...

    Teshker Ahdarem (thank you) for the great blog. Have you tried the hokum and turkish baths? There's a great mudbath near the Dalyan Caunos Town on the west coast. It's lots of fun and great for the skin. The baths are on a river near a beach with nesting turtles and great ruins all around. Isn't Turkey fabulous!

  • At 9:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    WOW!! Great pictures of Turkey. It looks like you guys are going to have a fun month in Turkey. I wish we were there with you. Are you going to travel all over Turkey? Make sure you try the tomato and parsley salads they are very fresh and delicious tasting. We would love another video from you Ben. Love, Amy

  • At 8:05 AM , Blogger Burton Danes said...

    We are gonna have a great time in Turkey! We plan to go to Konya for a great mueseum and what may be the oldest known city. From there we're heading to the west coast for turtles, mud, tree houses, ruins, more goelogical oddities and beaches. White sand beaches where they make you clean off your feet.

    We have a Ben video on the way!




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