Oh, what a fabulous last day in Goreme. I had a full day to spend here because my overnight bus (shudder!) didn’t leave until 8:00. The weather was beautiful and I thought a walk to the top of the castle in nearby Uchisar would be a perfect way to spend the day. The view from the top of the citadel is breathtaking. So is the walk up in this heat for that matter…it took my breath away! This was one of the most populated area’s in this region until erosion of the castle made it too dangerous for the people to continue to live here. At the very top of you can see Byzantine graves carved into the stone. I though I took a photo of them but must have forgotten. They basically just look like troughs big enough to fit a human body.
It’s a long way down!
And it was windy on top. I’m starting to love the wind more and more… at least it keeps you cool!
After I walked to the top I decided to explore around the side of the castle. There were next to no other people doing this (probably because it’s dangerous as hell!) but there were no KEEP OUT signs so I just didn’t do anything stupid and was extra extra careful. I have to say, despite the danger of falling down a hole, it was so worth it. This was by far the best look I got into how the people actually lived. There were staircases, cooking areas, sleeping areas, multi-level rooms. This place is just incredible. I’ve been reading Julia Child’s “My Life in France” and what she often talks about is how she feels like France is her true birthplace. I kind of feel the same way about Turkey. I just feel at one here. It’s kind of strange having that feeling from a place that you have no real connections with, but Turkey just speaks to me in a way that no other country has. France is close second though, I might add…
During the Roman period the tops of the fairy chimneys were carved out and used as graves as well.
A VERY steep staircase. No, I didn’t go down it.
Just look at the structure of these rooms!
I was talking to someone the other day about what I thought our generation would leave behind compared to the Romans and the like, and I’m sad to say, I think it just might be plastic bottles.
Dove coats have been carved into the chimneys as well. The ancient people used the pigeon poop to fertilize their crops.
These are old circumcision cloaks. In Turkey they don’t circumcise babies, they circumcise boys. The rule is that their parents need to get it done before they hit puberty. The guy who owned the carpet shop told me that it’s better for boys nowadays because they use a laser instead of a knife, but not in his day. Ouch.
Like I said, they like to dress you up in the shops, so I was draped in a wedding cloak and this hat and told to pose with the gun. I felt like an idiot but thought “what the hell?” I felt like an overdressed Charlies Angel….that was the look I was going for, anyways.
In LOVE with the rugs. The owner was telling me all about the symbolism of the patterns. Every part of the design means something. Fertility, flowing water, paradise. And the individual weaver will put her own fingerprint on each rug. She can deviate from the pattern a little bit here and there. She’ll make one motif (that’s supposed to match another opposite) a little bigger than the other. She’ll make another motif half one colour, and half another colour. When you really look at these rugs, you’ll see that each one tells a story.
This is an antique woman’s cloak. It was just exquisite. For some reason he sells the majority of these to French people. I spent so much time in this shop learning about Turkish rugs and their history that the owner (without my knowing) sent one of is helpers out to get some lunch of lavash bread filled with goat cheese. Sort of like a Turkish Quesadila, which was so nice! On that note, the Turkish people take their hospitality seriously. The tea, the snacks, the lunch! It really is such a breath of fresh air, and so very, very different than home. I know it’s partly that they want to sell you stuff, but it’s also just part of the culture. I’ve said it before, but they truly are the friendliest people I’ve ever met.
This is an area called “Love Valley.” Can you imagine why?