Central Anatolia


CAPPADOCIA

Cappadocia, one of the most striking rock formations in the world. Ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed this region with thick ash, which solidified into a soft rock. Wind and rain did the rest of the work and formed curvy faces and chimneys. Human hands performed also incredible works here, the rockyland is honeycombed with a network of human-created caves. These caves were inhabitated as early as Hittite times, and expanded over the centuries as various armies traversed Central Anatolia. Kaymaklı (largest) and Derinkuyu (deepest) are the most famous ones.

Cappadocia is one of the most popular spots in the world to go up in a hot air balloon. One morning I woke up with this view from the window:

There are two famous tracking routes: Pigeon & Love Valley (3-3.5 hours) and Rose and Red Valley (2-2.5 hours). Rose and Red Valley is my favorite one. Along the Rose and Red Valley trails, there are several lovely viewpoints where you can see different rock formations as you see in the aerial video:

Cappadocia's another famous attraction is the Göreme Open Air Museum, a complex of medieval painted cave churches. In the 4th century, Cappadocia became known as the "Land of the Three Saints" because of three remarkable theologians. There are over 10 cave churches. Along with others they form a large monastic complex. In 1923, during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey the churches were abandoned.

TUZ (SALT) LAKE

Tuz Lake is the second largest lake in Turkey and most of the local salt consumed (60%) is produced here. It was a nice stop on the way to Cappadocia. Apparently I was not so creative on that day and I am not so happy with my photos, you can however make really interesting shootings using the reflections.

Drone shot over the lake:

MEVLANA (Whirling Dervishes)

Sema (Whirling Dervish) Ceremony. Sema is a religious rite which was first performed by Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi on the streets of Konya, Turkey in the 13th century. Mevlana was a 13th century Islamic spiritual leader who was born in 1207 in Afghanistan. With the onset of the Mongol invasion of Central Asia between 1215 and 1220, Rumi’s family journeyed westwards, eventually settling down in Konya.

Mevlana’s met Shams-e Tabrizi at the age of 37. Shams had introduced Mevlana to music, poetry and dance as a mystical way of connecting. It is these artistic expressions that are the characteristic features of the whirling dervishes, which was founded after Mevlana’s death by his son, Sultan Veled, his disciple Çelebi Hüsamettin, and his grandson Ulu Arif Çelebi.

The semazen’s (person performing the Sema) hat represents the tombstone of the ego, while the white skirt symbolizes the ego’s shroud. When the semazen removes his black cloak, it is meant to signify his spiritual rebirth into the truth. Each dervish places his arms on his chest to symbolize his belief in the Oneness of God. The right hand reaching up to heaven, the left hand down to the earth.

You must organize your trip to central Anatolia keeping in mind the ceremony takes place every saturday evening.


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About Me

Like most people I am a casual traveler. I live in Munich / Germany and enjoy solo adventures. Photography is one of my passions.

 

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