June 4, 2013 by brasiersarah
This was to be our vessel for the next hour, simple science at its best hot airs goes up cold air goes down. You arrive at the launching ground and there are at least a hundred balloons are lying in the foetal position awaiting to be erected by the sensuous breath of hot air. This is what Goreme is like a 5am every morning during the tourist season (which is pretty much all year). It’s hard to imagine so many balloons in one spot until you have actually seen it. This amazing landscape was created from eruptions from a nearby volcanos, but these rocks were not created by lava. The eruptions produce giant clouds of ash which blanket the area and settle to create the rock you see here known as “volcanic tuff”. You can see the different eruption events from the layers in the rock. The tuff is quite soft, and given the rainfall and weather conditions in this area it erodes easily creating these interesting landscapes.
Safely on the ground and to celebrate? Diluted champagne wooho. Wait what? I spent $150 Euro and I am of the most part a grown up so give me my undiluted champagne! On a more serious note a few days later we found out that there was a balloon accident for the second time in a decade a this time 3 people died. This is a photo taken from a news website, the government has launched an enquiry into the accident. I would assume they are going to cap the numbers of balloons able to fly at one time. Although a beautiful sight I guess it is pretty dangerous.early rise = puffy eyes. Looking less than fresh after the ballooningJust as I was about to brag how I had been to one of the natural sets of star wars I did some research. Turns out that Jesus was lying to us, and by Jesus I mean our tour guide Jesus. A self proclaimed name that forced you to trust him. He kind of looked like Jesus, had the whole long hair and beard thing going on so he named himself after the big fella. Turns out after doing some trusty googling I found out that this area was not the set for star wars. It’s a pretty unreal landscape so I’m not to fazed that it’s not the real deal we are going to Morocco so we can see it then. It’s hard to imagine that what your looking at now can drop to -3˚C in winter while we were walking around in a pleasant 20˚ day. The reason they built catacombs throughout the mountains and fairy chimneys was so they could keep alive. We were told that while it snows outside the natural house can keep a temperature of around 15˚. Pretty amazing huh? I was thinking of building a holiday house here if anyones whats in. Once your inside it only gets better there are churches, store rooms and meeting areas. these places were regular little towns in themselves. One of the churches we went to had a beautiful fresco painted on the ceiling.This is the underground city of Derinkuyu, a 60 meter deep fortress capable of housing 20,000 people. It was started around 7-8th BC, (thats around 5000 years old) and grew to this enormous size over hundreds of years. You can see in this picture that there is a rolling door and this isn’t the only one the place is riddled with them. Measuring in at 1-1.5m high and 30-50cm thick these babies can weigh in anywhere from 200-500kg. It’s an amazing network of tunnels and its a shame you can only see a small section of the intricacy. One day I would love to return with a good torch and jump the metal gates to explore. So this is what happened the day Rhidian and I decided to do our own thing. I had some pretty serious carpet shopping to do in a nearby town called Kayseri, renowned for producing carpets of the variety that I am quite fond of. I set off and caught quite a few busses in order to reach my destination.
After trawling through many, many carpet shops since I’ve been in Turkey by this time i’d been given speeches on the knot count, origins, wool quality, natural dyes, synthetic dyes etc etc I was quite frankly sick of people spinning me lengthy yarns about why I needed to pay an exorbitant price for the carpet they were trying to sell me. So when I asked one of our friendly Hosts in Mardin if they knew anyone who would sell me a carpet in Kayseri, I was delighted when he made a few calls and produced a name and address for me. Only problem was finding it. Kayseri was near Goreme, so when we were there I set off for what I thought was going to be a day by myself to find this place in this town, but for not one second was I alone. I only had to show one bus attendant the address and he escorted me another bus, and explained to the bus driver where I wanted to go, who then obviously discussed it with the other passengers, who of about 3 or 4 got off the bus with me to try and help me find the place, then the guy pictured above was asking for his contact number and called the guy, got directions, took me to his shop (which consisted of a small unsigned shop front down a nonchalant street) and accompanied me through the whole carpet buying process. Oh and while all this was happening not one sentence of English was spoken. Then once the transaction was complete, once again no English spoken, suddenly I found myself with an entourage of 4 people walking with me to an ATM to get some money out, two guys carrying a carpet for me, one to drive me to the bus station, and one interested English speaking onlooker from the streets asking me if I was ok and translating some things for me.
Then I arrived at the bus station safe and sound my new friends and I sat and had chai and looked through the travel pictures I had on my phone and we fumbled though the Turkish translator on the iphone to have a nice conversation. Another perfect example of Turkish hospitality.While Sarah was off leading her double life I decided to make one of my own and married away with two dancers I don’t know the names under tribal muslim law. You would think that this would have to be the oldest pantry in the world, well thats what I though anyway. Turns out they were for pigeons well maybe not for them but the stuff that comes from their bums. Thats right that spend days digging into the side of these hills for shit. Apparently the pigeons created excellent manure for the farms excellent enough to build a damn cave for them. History meets modern design, I stumbled across this when I was trekking through one of the valleys. During his day of hiking and flaunting Rhidian managed to put together this delightful array of flowers for me. Isn’t he lovely?The tourist season never stops here because when it is winter it is a snow capped beauty awaiting to be discovered. I cant wait to come back here one day in winter. Another example of why Sarah takes the photos and I talk the shit, I think it’s important to stick to what your good at. A simple breathtaking shot, one of my favourites “Straight to the pool room”.