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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

The Ihlara Valley

Here are our last batch of photos from Cappadocia! One day we rented a car in Goreme in lieu of taking an organized tour–less expensive and way more flexible. (And anyway, none of us are all that keen on traveling with a pack of strangers. Sometimes you meet lovely people that way, but if they’re not lovely then you’re stuck with them for HOURS. Bwahahaha.)

First stop, the underground city at Derinkuyu:

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Elliot [washing Kate’s dirty underpants]: It looks like somebody died in these.

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Next stop, the 10th-century rock-cut Gümüşler Monastery. It was closed for lunch when we first arrived, so we spent a bit of time exploring the caves across the street.
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At this point Elliot goes, “Don’t worry. Even if I fell I probably wouldn’t die.” Probably true, but not exactly reassuring. (I guess he was maybe thirty feet up?)

Can you see him in this one?:

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Below: the monastery chapel. These paintings aren’t quite as breathtaking as those of the Dark Church, but they were still pretty awesome.

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We reached the Ihlara Valley quite late in the day, so we weren’t able to see much, but it was very tranquil and we got to see the Kirkdamalti Kilisi (the Church of St. George) in a cave a few minutes’ hike up from the main path.

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The amount of graffiti on the walls of this sacred place was nothing short of horrifying.

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So some artist a long, long time ago used his God-given talent to create something beautiful, and then some jerks came along and did their best to spoil it. How sad.

(I know there’s graffiti everywhere, but I’m not used to seeing it on sublime works of art. Why scratch your name across the face of an angel? How does that make you feel like somebody important?)

ANYwho. Two more Turkey entries and then it’s on to Colombia!

2 Comments to The Ihlara Valley

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I think he was only 15 feet high even though it felt much higher at the time.
    Not that this makes it right, but I thought the graffiti was partially an anti-Christian thing and not just a write-your-name-on-the-bathroom-stall type of thing.
    That day was awesome! I need to get back there someday…

  2. March 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I wish I’d taken the time to travel to more exotic locales when I was younger. I’ve only seen professional photographs of these caves. How inspiring it must be to be there in person.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.