Friday, June 22, 2007

LIVE Blogging - Leaving Istanbul

We left Istanbul on the overnight bus. It was dusk when we left, so we didn't see much of the countryside until the next morning, when it looked like this:

The first thing we visited in the Cappadocia area was an underground city. Not for claustrophobics, it was nonetheless fascinating. The entire population of the region would retreat underground when threatened by invaders, and at one point spent as long as six months at a stretch down there. There were wells, ventilation shafts, protected entryways, areas for a few large animals, a schoolroom, communal food storage and preparation areas, even a morgue.

Next we visited a rug-making cooperative and learned a lot about the different materials, techniques and styles of Turkish and Afghani rugs. Also observed the traditional Turkish blend of hospitality and salesmanship, as practiced by a master.

And finally what we came for; the strange and surreal sights created by the natural rock formations in this isolated region of Turkey, coupled with the human ingenuity that turned these formations into not only underground cities but also homes, churches, entire villages, and a surprising number of human-carved pigeon holes.

Another valley - more pictures of these formations once I get back home and have access to photo editing software, because not surprisingly these sights often lend themselves to vertical photo formats, which I can't rotate for posting while on the road. It's all very Dr. Seuss, often with a healthy dose of Dr. Ruth thrown in.

This was all several days ago - today we saw the ruins of Ephesus, which was just like you see in pictures but a lot hotter. We also went to the town I mentioned in the preblogging, Sirince, which is pronounced something like sheer-EEN-jay. Not only did we find the spoon maker, we took pictures of him working and made friends. But more about that another time - this live blogging is lagging behind the actual live traveling and I don't want to make it any more confusing than it already is.

Plus my time is up here, we have to get up early tomorrow for the ferry back to Greece, and those pictures are still on the camera anyway.


Scott June 23, 2007 4:54 AM  

Is that a ghost in the in the 2nd photo? Also looks hot but very dry.

Dad June 23, 2007 10:33 AM  

I was just going to ask the same question, except my question was, "Is that Mom's ghost in the underground picture?"

Scott June 23, 2007 12:39 PM  

I was thinking the same thing but not real sure?

Scott June 23, 2007 12:42 PM  

After the 3rd look I do belive it is my mother-in-law.

Dad June 23, 2007 12:57 PM  

Scott, I tend to think you're right. I didn't even notice the ghost until today, but when I enlarged it she began to stand out. I think the shoes and socks and pants are hers. The back of the head looks familiar, too. But while her face normally shines beautifully, this ghost's face is REALLY bright, and I'm not sure my wife has ever been THAT bright-looking.

Guess we'll have to wait until the photographer weights in.

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