The land is so strange that you always feel like you are in some other planet. So when the light struck the unworldly monuments created by the Gods of the past, it was like we witnessed a blessing by the old. The sun turned the cliffs, rocks and palace-like structures into a strange magical theatre, I had never experienced Cappadocia like this.
It was an afternoon never forgotten. We had not planned it at all, but wanted to visit the so-called Valley of the lovers, but since shadow had set the limestone pillars into lifeless creatures we postponed the visit to the next morning.
The valley is a beauty but not as exciting as it’s other namesake, which is further hidden away. Pillars holding the skies, rock castles all looking like the Isengart of the Lord of the Rings, one would not be surprised to see Gandalph appearing between those vineyard covered plains.
The hobbits had lived in round houses as we all know and the place where I would have set the beginning of that fantastic movie would be the village of Sülimaniye near the ancient city of Aksaray. It is here where the great caravansaries departed either to Konia or to the inner circle of the cities of Cappadocia. It is definitely my favorite of all the Turkish villages,
I found a house there a long time ago, where I would love to settle and create some retreat in a very special way. Knowing this will never happen I just love being there again and again. The hills and rocks all look like small houses build by the ancient, churches and facades of some lost temples of the old and to me it looks like a place of miraculous beings who created their earthly abode just on this spot. Alas, I have too much fantasy, I know, but that’s why I love the “Game of Thrones” so much, is it not?
A few days after I had been to Cappadocia again, I had the pleasure of taking a few people to Apulia. Another gem of southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The churches here are younger than in Turkey, they are stunning reminders of the Normannic past of this area, the most romantic and beautiful Romanic churches of Europe. But that’s only one side of this once richest area of Italy and the Roman world. It is the other stunning place where round houses are built, but this time by real people.
I am sure, Frodo and Bodo would have loved it here, no corners to edge on, no windows to let the brutal sun inside, protected by walls 600 years old or more. The Trullis of Apulia are the place, where I would have started the “Lord of the Rings”, their architecture is what I had in mind when I read those books (again and again) years ago. So when the “Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien’s masterpiece, is filmed again, give me a call and I will lead you to the real backdrops of Hollywood, we did not even have to change anything. But having said this, since I am going to Mongolia just after this, am sure I will run into another adventure, they say that the Eagle Festival of Mongolia is even better than being in a real movie yourself…