Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Land of Fairy Chimneys - Cappadocia Day 1

It was love at first sight when we arrived in Cappadocia. Cappadocia is the land of fairy chimneys, rock-cut churches, cave homes, underground cities, and hot air ballon rides. We enjoyed our two nights in the small town of Goreme where we stayed at a cave hotel. Thats right, a cave. The room was a cool sanctuary during the heat of the day and a cozy room at night. In summary, the views were amazing, the food was delicious, and the people were delightful!

We explored the Goreme Open Air Museum our first day. This is a hillside full of rock-cut churches and monasteries. Inside the caves were beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from Christ's life and various bible stories (e.g., Daniel in the lions den). One interesting fact, when the Ottomans took over Cappadocia, they scratched out all of the people's eyes in the frescos because they were "evil eyes". Kind of strange that we were grateful they didn't destroy the entire painting.

For dinner we ate at Dibek, a wonderful restaurant inside a 475-year old building. We had to place our order three hours in advance so they could slow cook our chicken dish in sealed clay pots in a special oven in the stone floor. The food didn't disappoint and was well worth the wait. While we were waiting, we stumbled upon a children's folk dance competition taking place in the middle of the town square. It was no "So You Think You Can Dance" but it was still fun seeing the lavish costumes and traditional Turkish dances.