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Posts tagged ‘Göreme’

word a week photo challenge: mural

A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture. (Wikipedia)

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a climbing wall in Hamburg

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Brussels

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work in progress, in London’s Portobello Road

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St Basil, Goreme open air museum, Cappadocia, Turkey

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the beautiful, painted interior of the Jesuits church in Vienna

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the red room in Helga’s Folly, Sri Lanka

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the royal rock temple, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Sue’s word of the week . Did you share any photos of murals this week?

Road trip in Turkey part 6: Goreme and its environs

We were then taken back to Göreme and went to visit the Göreme open air museum where there are churches cut into the rock, some with beautifully painted frescoes. Sadly many of these have been defaced – literally – the faces have been scratched away by fanatics who don’t believe in representation of the human form.

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frescoes in the church of St Basil

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the beautiful ceiling in the Apple chapel

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the paintings in the chapel of St Barbara are more figurative

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Yilanli (snake) chapel

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St Catherine’s chapel

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sandals chapel
the name comes from the two footprints at the bottom of the Ascension fresco at the church’s entrance

More information about these churches can be found here.

From here we proceeded up to the Göreme panorama at the top of the hill just outside the town from where there was a good view across the valley. There were lots of souvenir shops and trees with evil eye decorations hanging on the branches.

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Then we went to the hill-top town of Uchisar where we could drive right up to the castle.

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Then we went to the top of Pigeon valley for more photos.

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Pigeon valley is so called because the valley is full of pigeon lofts.

Then to Çavuşın, where the soft rock of the hillside is riddled with dwellings many of which were inhabited until the 1950’s

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the interior of Cavusin’s church/mosque – note the floral decoration on the column.

Nearby Avanos is famous for its pottery shops

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Then we went to see the fairy chimneys at Paşabağı. These weird formations have been caused by wind and weather erosion

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It was even possible to take a camel ride here

Last place on the itinerary was Urgup. We stopped by a block of flats so that I could take a photo looking up towards the buildings cut into the rock.

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Out of the car in front of me 2 guys removed a sheep for the sacrificial Bayram and dragged it into the building. Urgup looked to be the Gordes (listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Provence) of Cappadocia as it was full of boutique hotels and restaurants. It had obviously gone up in the world since our visit 30 years ago!

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Then we drove back stopping for coffee in the small village of Çardak and through Derinkuyu. In many of the fields up on the plateau the pumpkins/marrow/squash were being harvested and seeds removed and spread out to dry.

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Pumpkin seeds are a great delicacy here and you’ll find empty shells littering the ground pretty much wherever you go.

Road trip in Turkey part 5: hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

Even the best laid plans go astray ….. The previous evening I realised that we had made a serious mistake in the location of the hotel we were currently staying in as regards getting to Göreme for an early morning start for our hot air balloon trip. We were in fact some 80km away and we were going to have to get up at 3am! The alarm clock sounded only too early and we managed to leave at 3.30, picking up our packed breakfast on the way out. We drove to Göreme via Derinkuyu and it only took us about 1 hr to get there so we had loads of time to kill before meeting up with Ozan at the bus station. There K got talking to someone in a tourism agency who told him we could get coffee at my house and told us how to find it. We thought he meant it was his house but when we got there it turned out to be a little café called My House. It didn’t look as if it was open because all we could see was a TV set that was on. However, we pushed open the door and asked if they were open and they said yes, they had been open since 4am because they make poaca (savoury pastries) which are sold to some of the balloon companies for breakfast. At 6am we were collected from there and taken to İstanbul Balloon’s depot for a light breakfast.

We were then taken to the area used by many of the balloon companies for take offs. We watched other balloons being inflated – like sleeping animals coming to life.

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and watched in fascination as other balloons started taking off around us

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More balloons followed ours until the sky seemed to be full of them.

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more gas, please

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There were 16 people in our basket plus 2 crew and at least 2 helpers/translators. We saw the sun rise and were up in the air for about 1 hr – fantastic. Although this wasn’t my first balloon flight, I always experience the same thrill as the balloon becomes airborne and the landscape is laid out like a map below you.

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Pink valley

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At one point we could see about 30 other balloons in the air. During the summer season there can be literally hundreds!

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aerial view of Goreme

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rock dwellings cut into the soft rock

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At the end of our flight the pilot managed a similar picture perfect landing on the trailer.

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dismantling the envelope as the actual balloon bit is called from the basket

After landing safely, bottles of (apple) bubbly were cracked open and each person got a survivor’s certificate.