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If you intend to travel to Cappadocia, then you should plan to stay more than only three days! There are many places to must see in Cappadocia like: Fairy Chimneys, Göreme Valley National Park and rock churches, underground cities of Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Mazı, Özkonak, Tatların; Zelve Valley, Avanos with its pottery, Uçhisar and Ortahisar rock fortress, Ürgüp, Mustafapaşa (Sinasos) with old greek houses, Ihlara and Soganlı valleys, Hacıbektaş with its Alevi culture, Sultansazlığı bird paradise. In summer (from 6th of May to 8th of November) several alternative tours can be arranged: Hot-air balloon trip over the chimneys; trekking; walking; horse riding; motorbike or mountain biking around the valleys.
Cappadocia's name was derived from Katpatuka, probably "land of the thoroughbred horses", in Persian language. Cappadocia is generally regarded as the plains and the mountainous region of eastern central Anatolia around the upper and middle reaches of the river Kızılırmak (Red River). It was here that several ancient highways crossed and different cultures came into contact with each other. It was also the land of the Hittites. The sparsely inhabited landscape of Cappadocia is characterized by red sandstone and salt deposits of the Miocene (Tertiary) period. However, the relatively small areas of fertile soil on volcanic tuff is where the population tends to concentrate. This southern part of Cappadocia, the more densely populated, is often spoken of as the heart of the region and yet it lies in the extreme south-western corner. As well as cereals, Cappadocia is best known for potatoes, fruits and wine.
The origins of this unusual region can be traced to the Tertiary period some 50 million years ago, when craters and chimneys dominated the landscape. Since then huge quantities of volcanic material have spewed out of the many volcanoes. Forces of erosion have shaped the incredible and unique Cappadocian tuff-coned landscape. For hundreds of years men have dug into the soft but firm tuff to create dwellings, monasteries, churches and underground cities.
The history of Cappadocia began in prehistoric times.
Cappadocia thus became a melting pot of a variety of ethnic groups, all of which have influenced the culture and religious beliefs. Basilius the Great (329-379 AD), bishop of Caesarea (Kayseri), inspired many religious colonies and for a thousand years an active monastic way of life endured throughout Cappadocia. Invasions first from Turkmenistan and Mongolia and then from Seljuks and Ottomans put an end to the movement.
One note for tourists traveling with guide (I call it sheep tourism!): shopping should be rather done without accompaniment because there are sometimes commissions of over 30 percent for the guide!
For other information about Cappadocia and Turkey I give you two links more:
The current weather at Tuzköy airport:
Sun May 14 18:04:41 2006
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