Nothing, nothing compares to Cappadocia. And the biggest surprise is, that many people still have not heard about this place. Want to know where God will retire? Well, this is the answer. The mighty, most beautiful and well hidden country of the wild horses, the country which is hidden in the middle of nowhere, in central Turkey.
I know this place for many years, I have toured it since 12 or 15 years, I have shown it to manyand I do not remember one who did not like it. No matter, how many pictures you have seen, it will take you by surprise, it will make you stun again and again and it well never ever lets you out of its grip. It is Paradise on earth, the most fantastic landscape next to Egypt’s White Desert and second to none in terms of landscape beauty, culture and miraculously wonderful places to stay.
So here I am again, taking a small group of travel enthusiasts and my friend, Turkish guide end lover of his country, Hüsseyin Süren, to enjoy what cannot be described. We fly in from Istanbul via the old Roman city of Kayseri, a city founded by the Romans and transferred and used by the famous Seljuk Dynasty of far eastern origin, which lets us another one hour on the streets to arrive near Ürgüp, where our cave hotel is situated. My, how many times have I been here, I just love this place, its hidden rooms, balconies and its main building with its library and atmosphere of bygone days.
It takes only about 10 minutes to reach the world heritage site of the Göreme monastery sight, a valley full of churches built in between the 9th and the 12th century. Filled with visitors of all around the world it is about the only place of mass tourism in Cappadocia, but you still have to face it because its dark church and the black church are real treasures of Byzantine art and its Barbara church is the strangest church on earth when it comes to its unworldly non-decoration of cockroach- like creatures. My theory is that the artist was drugged, others insist that in the time no art no church it was just an idea of placing symbolism on the wall instead of pictures of biblical importance. However, knowing that I cannot leave this place without visiting this valley I am always happy when we are done with it.
A walk is not a walk in Cappadocia. Hundreds of tracks let you enjoy the beauty of the country side and today we follow a kind of easy track from Göreme towards Cavussin. The countryside looks like angels have prepared gigantic birthday cakes, pinkish peaks, yellowish inlets and whitish cupcakes, it is so unearthly that again and again you wonder what it is all about. Wine, tomatoes and wine and wine again are the main crops of small gardens in between those endless valleys, you cannot stop taking pictures and you cannot stop admiring Gods doing. It is so unreal that you take as granted that this was the place where Spanish architect Gaudi met his Austrian counterpart Hundertwasser. Both would have been caught singing “nothing compares to you “ after finishing this crazy countryside.
The afternoon belongs to Zelve, one of my favorite spots. “Tell us about the houses”, the people ask the prophet in Khalil Gibran’s wonderful book. “The Prophet” always answers in the most beautiful ways, and when asked about housing and houses he just gives a beautiful answer again. How many times have I read this exact part of the book in between the Tolkien like ruins of Zelves forgotten houses? Gates lead to nowhere, caves tell stories of those gone, Isengarth thrones over this pristine valley and the “Game of Thrones” could be filmed right here without adding or removing anything. But where I would have filmed the place and palaces of the Elves is not in Zelve but further up in the so called gardens of the sultans. Because this is where postcards undo reality.
Monks hurry to reach their cells before dawn strikes. Whitish walls surround a valley of strange beauty, houses of those non-existing creatures of the fantasy world dot this strange planet of the outer world. Any minute something could happen, a Goddess could appear to call her folks to the arms, some wedding could go on between dwarfs and giants, it is the spookiest place of all and I wish, I could see it in a day in a winters full moon night. But who says I have been here for the last time anyhow…
For more pictures on Cappadocia just open the gallery on Near East – Turkey – Cappadocia