Fairies, Smurfs and Belly dancers

We’ve spent the last 3 days in Cappadocia in central Turkey exploring the cave dwellings and rock formations which make the area famous.  The rocks are unlike anything we’ve seen in Turkey so far so it’s cool to have such different scenery after only driving for 2 days – sometimes they look like they’re made out of melting vanilla ice cream and other times they’re striped in various shades of pink and yellow and everywhere they’re dotted qwith windows impossibly high up.  And then there are what all the sensible family friendly guide books refer to as ‘fairy chimneys’.  Will and Karen don’t call them that.  They are now fairy penises and I will never be able to call them anything else.  I was sadly camera battery free when we visited them so you will have to imagine them (or Google them, since you are smart people), but I’m sure you can guess what they look like.  Just bear in mind that in the old stories, fairies aren’t necessarily small…

Our first stop on our way to the campsite was the Selime Cathedral in the Ihlara Valley, one of many many buildings we have seen carved out of the mountains, but definitely one oif the best – I spent all my time there scrambling up rocks and crawling through dark tunnels living out the Indiana Jones fantasies of my youth, albeit with a lot more people and stairs and signage.  And considerably less treasure and things trying to kill me (bit of a flimsy fantasy in that case)

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The scrambling aqnd crawling turned out to be a theme for the day as we also visited Kirkdamalti church (a teeny frescoed grotto halfway up a mountain) and the Derinkuyu undergrond city.  ‘City’ may be pushing it a bit.  There were some areas not open to the public but even so I think I’d feel a bit fraudulent calling it anything more than an underground village.  We’ve also decided that ancient Turkey was populated by Smurfs as all the corridors were absolutely minute – some of our tall guys spent pretty much the whole visit bent double.

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Chilling out with zombie Jesus at the cave church

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Giant Aaron struggling in Smurf city.

Day two we went on a little driving tour of the rocks nearby including Zelve archeological site and the aforementioned photoless penises, before coming back to a highly cheesy, highly touristy, but very well organised and bargainous night of belly dancing fun.  For 50 lira (less than 18 quid) we had our transport to the venue and back, which was pretty big with tiered seating to enjoy the show, a five course meal including birthday cake for Alex (our 3rd trip birthday this week), a great show of traditional Turkish dancing including a very bendy belly dancer, and alcohol on demand.  We were a big, loud group.  We demanded a lot.  There may have been some dancing on tables by the end of the night.

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