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Turkey: Cappadocia – The Land of Beautiful Horses VI

Published: 1.12.2014
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!

They were slowly filled – perhaps with helium – and pilots were getting ready by drinking Turkish coffee. When everything was ready, we got in the basket. And it was far from easy. There are no doors so you just have toclimb over it. Pensioners had especially difficult time getting in. Yet the enthusiasm we saw! Then the sun was setting and we slowly were getting up in the air. We flew over the land and over Pink valley , we got closer to the mines, some canyons and back to 300 meters. We watched other balloons around, below or above us. It was gorgeous!!!

Kappadokie

I went to lay down for a while after this unbelievable experience. After the breakfast, I went to the camel valley. There is a rock Kappadokie - tri kraskyformation resembling a camel and many other resembling some figures. One can fully unleash her imagination. Then I continue to three rock mushrooms called beauties. To conclude my trip I traveled to one of the rock towns! These are the most remarkable sights in Cappadocia. Some were so extensive that up to 30 000 people could live there. According to Xenophonus, a mercenary warlord who lived around 400 B.C., there were pre-Christian underground towns.

Only later were these towns used by Christians as a shelter before oppressors. First floors were filled with stables, wine press, and vast cellars. Wine cellars were not to provide parties but because so many people on one place was hard to feed. People had very low daily rations, and a cup of wine was only a part of nutrition.

Kappadokie

Below the cellars, there were dwellings, kitchen and a church. One could only admire corridors with large mill stones that were used to block the way for the intruders from both sides. This would keep them in the middle until they starved to death. Very clever. Another interesting fact is about the entrances and the dwellings as such. They are very hard to be spot in the terrain even though they are sometimes 11 stories high. It is due to the fact that individual floors are more than 60 meters below the ground. It is fascinating what one can learn about this place.

Kappadokie

My last stop is the town of Avanos, . There I visit a pottery workshop. The longest river of Turkey flows through here Kizilirmak (the Red River), which is 1355 km long. There is plentiful pottery clay in it. Ceramics has had long tradition in the region. Sultan Selim I the Cruel contributed to its development in 1514. He captured Egypt and Arabia, and sent as a war booty prisoners to Turkey. There were many craftsmen, and potter and ceramics masters among them. By the end of the 16th century, pottery reached its peak. More than 300 furnaces worked 24/7 in the Ottoman Empire.

Kappadokie

My visit ends here. I leave Cappadocia by night bus. I look forward to getting back there already. This area and locals made a great impression on me. You just have to experience it by yourselves…

Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková



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