Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Episode 18: In which I go to church

Location: Göreme Open Air Museum
Date: 04/04/2006
I decided to go to the Open Air Museum, even though I tend not to believe the Lonely Planet anymore.  It was entirely worth it, as I find myself fascinated with ancient religious frescoes (maybe I should have done Classical Studies at school after all).  It is full of churches, monasteries, refectories and store rooms dug into the rock and cliffsides.
I won't list all of the churches there, but my favourites were the Elmalı Kilise (Apple Church) and the Karanlık Kilıse (Dark Church), even though I had to pay extra to see the latter.  The vibrancy of the centuries old paintings and the intricate cave structures were stunning.  Even the more basic iconoclastic rock painting was beautiful.  It's a pity the museum looks a bit like a zoo with its paved walkways and stairways, but a UNESCO world heritage site needs to accommodate a lot of visitors at a time.  I'm glad I was there in off season, since the only source of light in most of the churches was through the small doorways, easily blocked by tourists standing in them.  It was also good for photos, since I could use all available light (no flashes allowed of course).
After the museum, I took a wander to find El Nazar Kilise, the Evil Eye Church, built right into a fairy chimney.  It was closed, but Mustafa the guard was just leaving.  He reopened it for me and charged me the entrance fee.  It wasn't as impressive as some of the others, but he pointed out all the features to me.  He also invited me back the next day to see the Saclı Kilise (Hidden Church) and have lunch with him.
I got him to point me in the direction of Love Valley, which I visited briefly to gaze upon the spectacularly phallic rock formations.  Has to be done, right?


helen said...

Fantastic report Wendy

OhangaiBoy said...

Kia ora Wendy,

What an awesome way to keep in touch with your family, and I would like to thank your mum for sharing her delight with us.

Who am I, well I am an old Hawera Intermediate and High schools friend of your mum.

I have perused your awesome photos around Turkey and I will definitely read your "rantings" in due course, trying to keep up with your mum's too. Now I know where you get that passion from - wonderful to see.

Nga mihi nunui kia koe i tenei wa, me tou hoa tangata katoa hoki. Kia ora ra te kotiro ataahua o taku hoa whaea, tou mama, a, Helen.

No reira, kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. - Arohanui Harvey