Turkey: Cappadocia – The Land of Beautiful Horses III
Many roads cross Central Anatolia. The most famous is the Silk Road. The Sejluks built there traveller’s inns or also called caravanserais to boost trade as it would protect travelling traders.
One can see it mostly on high, thick walls surrounding the compound and a large massive, and beautifully decorated portal. This all implies that it was very important to ensure safety of guests and locals. There was even a small mosque in the center. On the other side from the entrance, there were private rooms, rooms for servants, spas, workshops, smith’s shop, and storage. Animals had stables opposite to the entrance in a monumental stable with several arched rooms separated with huge pillars. The height of this room is aadjusted rather to elephants than camels, and mules. Traders who were allowed to live here three days for free should have realize the power and wealth of their hosts. Really impressive building.
I found a small hotel in the center, had a tasty dinner in local restaurant, and , on the following day, I got on a bus to Nevsehir-New Town, and continued to Goreme the center of Cappadocia….
It was May 28, 585 B.C., Thales of Miletus found out, first time in the history of the mankind, about solar eclipse. The Lydians and Medes ceased the battle between them despite they didn’t know anything about this prediction. When suddenly the sky went dark, they interpreted it as divine anger. They laid down their weapons and promised friendship. They split small Asia peacefully. They marked the Halys river as the borderline.
In the area called Cappadoki, ruled by the Persians, horses were used to pay taxes to Assyria. The capital and the center of the province was Ceasarea near the present Kayseri. During the 3rd century AD, Christianity was getting stronger and Ceasarea became a main religious center. Basileos, one of landowners, was the bishop of Cappadocia. Soon after appointed bishop, Basileos left for Egypt. After he finished studying Christianity, he returned to Cappadocia where he founded monasteries.
In the morning, I had a great breakfast. We took off for the final destination of my journey. I transfer to a smaller bus. On the road, we pass by first bizzare rock formations that serve as dwellings until the present. Then we pass by canyons with caved-in ground. In couple of million years, there will probably be new formatins. The volcanoes of Hasan and Erciyes are visible in the far distance. Half an hour later, we arrived at Goreme, a picturesque and cute village situated between beautiful “fairy” chimneys. On the top of them are TV antennas, or have built-in plastic windows. I have a room in a small hotel located in one of those chimneys. It is really stylish. Then I go to the infocenter and an open-air museum. There are famous churches carved in local stones.
To be continued...
Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková
When visiting Istanbul, you should definitely not miss one of the most interesting sights. Originally a cathedral, then a mosque and today the Hagia Sophia Museum, whose history dates back more than 1500 years. And perhaps much further. Hardly anywhere else in the world would you find a building with such history and atmosphere.
The ancient town of Afrodisias is one of Turkey’s most beautiful place, still not many tourists visit it. I decided I have to visit it...
Today I arrive from the historical town of Afrodisias to the small village of Pamukkale often visited by holidaymakers.
I had my balloon flight above Cappadocia at last. In my perspective, it is there where to do such thing is the best. We were at the place at 5.15 in the morning. There were more than 50 balloons being prepared for flights!
My journey now goes across ticket barriers to the museum compound, and then to the St Barbora church, who became a Christian against the will of her father. Initially, he imprisoned her and then killed her. Legend has it that he was struck by lightning for this.
A small town Troy is located in Turkey, in western Anatolia. According to a mythos Troy, the Achaeans founded the town lying on the bank of the Scamander River. In front of the town’s entrance, on the parking lot with many free spaces, in a box office you can buy a ticket required to enter the town.
Efes is the most preserved antique city in Turkey and it is rightfully one of the most popular spots. This place was known already in the 2nd century BCE. More than 250 thousand people lived there during its greatest time. In the present, thousands of tourists come here to admire what is left of fascinating buildings. Today, you walk with us on its marble pavement.
For many centuries, Anatolia was a center of Chrisianity, mostly thanks to Apostle Paul and his missionary expeditions. His activity took place mostly around the year 41 AD. Christianity spread due to fertile ground it found in Cappadocia.
At the theater once again I try to hitchhike a dolmush and continue to Gumbet, another bay beyond Bodrum. I go there to see the Myndos gate. From there a road to the city of Myndos ran. The gate was on a strategically significant location.
One of the most important cities of the world – that is Istanbul with its 16,5 million inhabitants. This city is the only one that is located on two continents – Europe and Asia.
Orient – distant, attractive, and spicy land. Just close eyes and you can see it again… Stop thinking about workdays and become absorbed in an atmosphere of One Thousand and One Nights stories in land of bent sabers, reverse half-moon and belligerent sultans. It is a matter of far past when Turks were a menace to Europe and yet people are still fascinated by beauty of Turkey.
The cars on highway from Sabiha Airport, distant from Istanbul city a couple of kilometres, move slowly ahead. So, it is time enough for the first quick acquaintance with the biggest Turkish town and way of life there.
With so many memories from yesterday we slept so well. Now we are about to have delicious Turkish breakfast, i.e. white cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, bread… And black tea with much sugar. And we are ready to go. It is like we are invited to see the sultan personally in his Topkapi Palace.
Izmir (also known as Smyrna) has been settled for five and half millennia. The city is located in Anatolia along the bay which is connected with the Mediterranean Sea. The location of the city mean it had experienced rule of many civilizations and empires. The last of them, the Ottoman Empire, conquered Izmir in 1389, in the time when it still was a part of the decaying Byzantine Empire.
Lets leave gray everydayness and take off on a flying carpet to the Köprülü National Park. There we will stay overnight in a pleasant camp by a river and on the next day we will move off to the spring of the Köprüçay River. After this we will continue through Antalya and Pamukkale to Dres.
Now we go downhill to the harbor. We embark a ferry and choose a bench on the upper deck. Soon the ship set sail. The name Bosporus means Cow ford. According the legend, there live beautiful princess Io in ancient Greece.
Pergamon King Attalos II gave the city its name after wife of Mysius Telephus, the founder of Pergamon Empire, Hieara. The city has thermal springs, the oldest is named Apollonis, in tribute to mother of a king of Pergamon.
It is another beautiful day, so I plan a journey to visit less-known Turkish sites. Come and visit together with me places as Priéné or half-flooded Myndos.
Once again I continue by dolmush to Turgutreis to a memorial to an admiral, and than I walk trough a green park to the port. Then I hitchhike another dolmush and go north to Gümüşlük where the flooded city of Myndos is located.
One of very interesting tourist targets for your holiday relax, there is Turkey. This country, situated on edge of Europe and Asia, has more and more suppositions to meet requirements of tourists. It became very popular thanks to combination of European and Moslem cultures.
We cruise around the Ortakoy Mosque built by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1853. The construction was done by his architect Nokogos Balayn. It is in the baroque style and it is situated in the European part of the Bosporus. Now we flow under the Bosporus bridge built in 1973 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
I wanted to visit Cappadocia, a land of beautiful horses as the Hittites. I bought a ticket bus and rode from Bodrum to Antalya where I slept over. On the following day I rode across the town of Konya where I visited caravanserai (an oriental pub by main roads where members of caravans and their animals ate) and the museum of Mevlana.
Right now I have been sitting on a bench on a railroad station. I am waiting impatiently for our bus to get started on a direction to Istanbul. I will see it with my naked eye, finally! This magnificent city attracts every traveler looking forward to fabulous adventure!
Have you ever heard of the Silk Road? Do you know how long it is or its route? We will join one caravan and will see… We won’t start in China where the Silk Road begins because it would take us 9000 kilometers to its end in Istanbul. Except for Marco Polo not many people walked it through whole. Majority of merchants used just were using a part of the Silk Road, from bazar to bazar where they bought and sold goods.
We just enter the city of Konya, the capital of former Seljuk empire. I step off from a bus at a bus station. I pick up my map of the city and head to a tower that shows me the way to the museum of Mevlana. The city spreads on a plateau surrounded with mountains.
We are at the horse market. If you have imagination, you can still hear horses. It is here where the Hippodrome used to stand, it was a racing circuit for chariots of four horses. The race took place every year and the Caesar attended it every time. The audience divided into two groups, greens – regular citizens; and blues – nobility.
We have just landed. I take a deep breath. Finally we are at the Bodrum Airport. We get into a bus and 40 minutes later ride downhill to Bodrum. The air has a salty smell of distant lends, colors have numerous shades, and azure horizon seamlessly changes to the sky.
Right now I pass a shop with ice-cream made in Bodrum. I cant miss this place. I take sour cherry, watermelon, and tangerine called dondrumu in Turkish. I continue slightly uphill to less glamorous neighborhood in Bodrum. I go up until a low white wall that surrounds famous Mausoleum in Halikarnassos.
This popular destination is to be found on two continents – Europe and Asia.
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