Archive for the ‘Travel & sights’ Category

Hierapolis – an ancient SPA

It is a vast area, I am sure I made at least a five kilometre walk. Probably longer. If you look at the remains of Hierapolis, you may think – it’s only stones and bricks. Nothing special. But if you use your imagination a bit, you will find it must have been vast and magnificent. The temple ruins, arches, tombs and baths will make an impression on anyone who will consider how much history they keep.

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The city was founded at the end of the 2nd century BC by the kings of Pergamon. … continue reading

Pamukkale – the Cotton Castle

It is probably one the most recognisable sights in Turkey. It is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list which doesn’t surprise me in the least. It certainly deserves it.

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What I remember from Pamukkale most is the heat (although out of season), expensive and ugly kitchen magnets – still not sure if I will ever put them on any fridge I owe… and an aggressive jewellery seller surprised that I spoke some Turkish. But apart from that… it was bliss beautiful. Please see for yourself  :)

The surface looks … continue reading

Cappadocia’s underground cities

The underground cities are literally all over Cappadocia. I have visited the following:
Gaziemir
Kaymaklı
Derinkuyu

 

Gaziemir – I visited it by accident, actually. It was not in the tour guide or on hotel recommended maps but the rod signs informed about the “biggest” underground city… Visit the place for 5TL but don’t expect the biggest underground city in Cappadocia :) It was virtually empty, with no ticket office, only an eldery man hanging around selling the tickets. This city differs from others that it is not that deep but vast and its … continue reading

Hacıbektaş (north of Gülşehir)

Not leaving Cappadocia, I managed to see Hacıbektaş - the cradle of one Muslim religious and philosophical movement - Bektashism. The order spread through the Ottomans into the Balkans, and even as far as Egypt. The monks or babas helped convert many to Islam. Apparently, the Bektashi Order was very popular among Albanians, and Bektashi tekkes (buildings, places of gathering) can be found throughout Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia to this day*.

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The Bektashi are said to have been very tolerant. According to the tour guide, it was them who built a mosque which featured human images … continue reading

Ihlara Valley – still in Cappadocia

A place different from the rest of Cappadocia because of the greenery and the river, or rather a brook. I must admit that at times I felt like in Poland, in the Mazurian lakes district.

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A 10 km long gorge cut into volcanic rock  in which Christians carved around sixty churches over the period between 11th – 13th centuries. The volcanic rock also hides the remnants of what must have been dwellings for monks and hermits.

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You can enter Ihlara Valley, like me, from the Ihlara … continue reading