Turkey was surprising me all the time. When I landed here I did not quite know what would I expect. However in just two days of Turkey had delighted me. I was especially having fun identifying and discovering the common words in Hindi/urdu) and Turkish. Chai, meshur (mahshoor), kabristan and more. I felt like home sometimes despite not seeing a single Indian till now in my two days of Turkey.
The landscapes were also intoxicating me, smooth highways flanked with beautiful countrysides, rolling hills, clean cool air and a relaxed speed limit with a good traffic sense on the road made for an excellent ride there. Despite all this I was surprised to see motorcycling not being popular in Turkey. Intriguing!
Approaching the town of Aksaray:
Today I started from the beautiful village of Safranbolu to another place, which is said to be one of the most beautiful in Turkey, the Cappadocia region. In this region I was going to a specific village of Goreme.
The cappadocia region is famous for its surreal alien landscape formed due to a mixture of volcanic activity, wind erosion, sedimentary deposits and human activities over many thousands years.
Another very important and intriguing feature of this region was the underground cities. About fourth underground cities have been discovered in this region and out of these only six are open till now to public, and out of these only specific sections and floors are open. These cities are supposed to be existing since the Bromze Ge but occupied mostly during the Byzantine era. They were probably built for religios purposes and to protect the residents from invasions. The homes of people in Cappadocia were often connected to this underground cities with tunnels. These cities also used to have chimneys leading to the ground level for ventilation. I was imaging that it must be quite something to live in them. In fact they reminded of the movie called ‘The Descent’ which touched upon the fiction of how human beings underneath the ground would be like if they were not subjected to light and ground for many years.
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t visit any of these cities. What, however, I did was to take the Multistrada and do some offloading and some light fun in the alien landscape around Gerome. The villages around Gerome were also straight out of a fantasy movie. Ultra steep cobblestoned streets flanked by old houses built from stone and mud.
I took the Multistrada around a vast complex of the naturally formed chimneys and spires, sharing the space with horses and ATVs. It was some great fun and it was indeed very beautiful to see the entire landscape change colours from light brown to bright orange as the sunset yet once more on this landscape which took millions of years to form. And here I was, a guy on a motorbike, a mere speck in the timescale. Only god knows what these spires and towers had seen in the millennia before ours. This place was magic.
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And this is Cappadochia:
The kids in Turkey were quite enthusiastic, cameras use to supercharge them:
This is one of the shops in Goreme, typical Turkish handicrafts and collectibles
And this was the owner, he is proudly showing the National Geographic Magazine from 1950s which covered the Cappadochia region. The black and white photo on the left shows his family including father and mother in the same shop!