Cappadocia: the autumn meeting
UNEXPECTED — NEAR The expanses of Asia Minor, where stretches modern Turkey, concentrated a good half of the heritage of Ancient Greece, not to mention the fact that its land — at the crossroads of ancient ways from Europe to Asia, and therefore it — the heir to the great epochs and cultures. To the honor of the Turks, they are able to keep the past — their own and other peoples, and the country in the hope of discovery can come dozens of times, it is only important to choose the route “on their own”. The beauty of nature and wonders to the East of Istanbul and from Trabzon in the North to Alanya in the South — “look not to reconsider”: the landscapes and history of those places are colorful and bizarre, like patterns of kilim carpets that are woven by Turkish craftswomen. Such is the land of Cappadocia, where we were invited in the early autumn: the color memories of it are still fresh. It’s been a month nearly since we came back, and they keep me warm in our grey pre-winter. HOW many CAN CONTAIN the DAY… Now the highway winds along the foothills of the Anatolian plateau, which in places come close to the curb, so we’re almost there — an extensive plateau, 150 kilometers in diameter. Geologists claim that in ancient times there was a seabed, later it was exposed, and after underground fermentation reared volcanoes and covered with ash… Layers were stratified, and rains and winds for millions of years completed the picture. For the fantastic landscapes of Cappadocia, which begin soon after the city of Aksaray, at the ancient caravan route, we went. However, at first behind a series of yellow poplars villages with stone houses flashed, replacing strips of winter and fields, speckled with dots of white and red bags. Peasant women, wrapped up to the eyes in wide scarves, something briskly chose from the furrow after a small tractor. It turns out that this year the potatoes are excellent. Grown on the local podzolic soils, it is considered the most delicious and often sold out right in the field (with us for a bag of 60 kg gave 40 liras)… We, checking with the pointers of the map obtained before leaving Istanbul, already prepared to be surprised, but the first stop at the fork in the village of Selime was “training” — check how quickly the group will run up to the stone cells in the rock, which were once someone’s homes, and then gather to the bus at the appointed time ahhh! Workout in a quarter of an hour ended with a successful landing everything arrived on time: an overcast sky to walk did not have. But after half an hour it cleared up, and we saw from the hill, as the earth parted into the connector with steep walls, as if embedded in the multi-colored folds. At the end of the village there was a crossed-out sign “Ihlara”, and it became clear: this is the beginning of “Ihlara Vadisi”, or ihlara canyon. Once its washed waters of the river Melendiz, and in the cells-cells found shelter the first Christians… still at the bottom of it runs a brook, shining between the trunks of Lombardy poplars that hide from prying eyes, dozens of churches, the best of which — Yilanli and Alty Agach, Sumbullu and kirk Dam Alti. We did not want to leave the edge of the gorge, flooded with the sun, but from the next local miracle — the underground city of Derinkuyu in 8 floors — we were separated by 40 km of road. And it was not the last point of our winding route! The ENTRANCE to the underground CITY is rather prosaic, but behind the door in four squares-a window — twilight and descent that will branch into dozens of low halls: a kitchen with a fireplace, a Church, it seems, one of the early — a semicircular altar and a cross in the plan, living rooms-cells. The passage into the depths of the massif becomes like a crack in the fortress wall, and as soon as I have time to think about what kind of gnomes cut through these corridors, as we gather, hunched over, in some “drive for groups”: to meet us out Japanese tourists. After waiting, we move on, or rather, deeper. Ahmed, whose voice is heard booming through the corridors, explains how they managed their households: baked bread, wove, and even crushed the grapes into wine… I am impressed by the consistency and simplicity of facilities — ventilation shafts, vertically penetrating from the top down the stone mass, serve the trough: the bottom layer is a repository for water. Wondering how it was possible to lead “underground life” here for years, I hurry to get out into the light of God… And there, in the square, there is a brisk trade: rag dolls in the image of local “bayans” (music has nothing to do with — in Turkish the word “woman”) — in satin smooth or patterned trousers, with babies on their hands, weaving spindles or clay crinkles. Making dolls is one of the local traditions, and among the handmade beauties there are characteristic ones. After talking about the price — I do not want to offend any of the traders — I pick up three ladies in the “harem”, leaving them “kalym” in EUR5: without me, “who — how much”. Hoping for a peaceful redistribution, running away for stories from the life of the town… Urgup, where we stayed at the Dinler Hotel after a rapid throw through the valley, seemed sedate, but deserted — the end of the season! Promenade in the center of the town with a couple of tourists-rotozeev Yes bright fruit showcases with gifts of autumn — persimmon, oranges, tangerines — all only from the branch… We are given a short break for “over-exposure” from the road, and we are moving again in the direction of Uchhisar. It lies on the way to Goreme — the famous natural reserve of stone, with many churches, as if flowing into one another. In it we will walk a day later, but for now we go to the edge of the valley. Flocks of birds soar up from the upper tiers or walk-cooing on a sloping slope over the cliff — such pictures in Cappadocia meet everywhere: pigeons live here next to people for centuries, the valley without them and it is difficult to imagine. It’s hard to believe, but our day is not over. There was a “Turkish evening” in the club of the town of Avanos. The audience became heroes of the piece, participating in the matchmaking, in the outputs of the brave warriors and pleased with the harvest of the peasants. This club, traditionally built in the rock, was filled with the latest models of equipment… there Was music that the Cappadocians composed for centuries, but it was clear to the Slavs and Indians, tourists from Japan and South Africa. And dancing rhythms which came either from the Caucasus, whether absorbed the Balkans, gathered in a circle, spread Creek, all, and did not have anyone closely… I suddenly felt like we are at the beginning of the world, when there is nothing to divide, when everything is clear without words and all the hassle go somewhere. Maybe it is the force that draws you into the heart of Asia Minor, do not get tired of pounding with the beat of the time? Don’T MISS · Museum under the open sky — landscape-historical Park of göreme and Zelve; · historic villages of Zelve, Ortahisar, Urgup, Cavusin and Uchisar; · the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakaml; · Church Perimacular, tavşanlı, Karacali, Elmalı and St. Basil the Great; · the monastery Bosmelet in Urgup; · fortress in Nevsehir and Urgup; · the cloister of dervish Haji Bektash Veli; · great mosque in Avanos; · madrasas (theological schools) of Damatebebi Pasha, the Pasha Taskina and Cerveira; · mosque — Kai, a landmark, Kyzylkaya K., Escabeche and Stone; · coaching Inn Beylik, · museums in Nevsehir, Hacibektas and Urgup. A TRIP TO CAPPADOCIA CAN BE: · an independent tour (flight + car), · the combination with a marine cruise Odessa—Istanbul (may—November); · 2 – or 3-day trip during a holiday on the coast; · part of a large excursion program for 7-9 days (“circumnavigation” from Istanbul through Anatolia and back).