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Revisiting Cappadocia

Posted: 2nd May 2014 11:33

This might sound a bit hyperbolic and cliché ridden but Cappadocia is a place like no other on our planet.  Seriously.  The closest place we can find that bears any similar resemblance to Cappadocia is the moon; it’s rocky, lunar-like landscape is like something straight out of Apollo 18.  But unlike the moon, Cappadocia is laced with networks of ancient underground settlements and is rich in outstanding examples of Byzantine art.  Take that, moon. 

What lies in central Anatolia, between the cities of Nevsehir, Kayseri and Nigde, is something that has come straight out of a fairytale.  Wind and weather have eroded the soft volcanic rock into hundreds of fantastically shaped pillars, cones and “fairy chimneys”, displayed in a fantastic rainbow of colours – various shades of pinks and yellows fade to russet and brown. 

Hittites, Byzantines and early Christians established important landmarks here and the history of the region can be traced back to 1800BC.  Cappadocia came to prominence during the Roman and Byzantine periods when the area became a refuge for early Christians; the religion flourished between the 4th and 11th Centuries, and the region’s many churches, monasteries and under-ground cities can be traced back to this active period. 

For a region so deeply rooted in history, it is also surprisingly modern.  There are a wealth of activities for tourists that are so much more than your average museum trips (we love history, we really do but hey, museums can get a bit samey.)   You can go on a shopping trip at a packed out bazaar that dates from Ottoman times, visit the intriguing volcanic tuff cones of Göreme or delight in a delicious pottery kabab (kebab meat cooked in a sealed clay pot.)Perhaps the most thrilling activity available, a hot air balloon ride is the chance to survey the majesty of Cappadocia from the sky.  Marvel over the aesthetically curious landscape and indulge in your out-of-this-world surroundings.  

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