Thursday, 3 April 2014

C for Cappadocia

So, we have left Banganga tank behind, and traveled far away again in both space and time. You see, in 2009 - The Greek, The Greek's father and I went on a road trip. The 3 of us set out from home ( Kavala, Greece), and drove east to Turkey: first to Istanbul, onward to Ankara and then further south... to Cappadocia. It turned out to be one of the most memorable trips I have ever made.

The amazing scenery of Cappadocia will take your breath away. I promise. The deep Grand-Canyon-like valleys, and the intriguing history of the inhabitants living in the hills. Yes, whole villages were made inside the strangely shaped mountains of the area. You can actually follow steep stairs down until you are 7 floors under the ground. I did it... But - NOT a good idea if you have as much as a hint of claustrophobia... Below 2nd floor we were more crawling than walking ( in not very elegant moves, I'll tell you) through the narrow tunnels deep down under. Puh!
A village in Cappadocia - yes, people lived inside these mountains:-)
The most emotional part of our trip was re-discovering the village, street and house that my father-in-law's father and grandparents had to leave in the 1920' in the population exchange between Turkey and Greece. You see, most villages in this area were populated by Cappadocian Greeks, and after they left, some of them were taken good care of by Turks, but others fell to ruins. We stayed at a small pension that used to be a house owned by Greeks, and the Turks living there now had taken good care of the past, so it was a moving place to visit.
Breakfast (with tea) at the pension  - with father-in-law:-)
The table was made of an old door to an ex-Greek home.   
Picture at the pension - from when the Greeks packed up and left..
It became even more emotional when we visited the village that my father-in-law's family had abandoned. Walking down a muddy street, looking right and left, seeing some houses, a barn, some goats and some local ladies watching us from behind some fluttering curtains in the windows.... Walking there side by side and suddenly realize that: yes, this has to be it. The remains of the house they left behind, so many years ago. Only ruins were left of it. It was so strong and special - to be part of this journey to the roots. This dream of being where the ancestors had used to be, had become reality. Sad, yes, but also a relief. We had been there now.  
Cliffs, hills and village in Cappadocia. 
An old abandoned Greek monastery. A scenery like nowhere else.. 
Well, following our dreams may lead us to unexpected destinations, right? And for me, who was more in it for the ride really, it turned out to be a dream-chase I will always remember and cherish. I hope you enjoyed coming along (maybe with the exception of the 5 floor below ground..?) Tomorrow we are going somewhere quite cheerful, and it starts with a D......

1-30 April I participate in the A to Z blogger challenge, and this post is written as a part of that challenge. Check out some amazing participating blogs hereMy theme for the challenge is Dream Destinations. I hope you had fun coming along? Please stay tuned for a new destination tomorrow. 

79 comments:

  1. Wow, that's such a lovely looking place...The first picture, I first thought it was caves...and then read that people actually live there...amazing!
    Am enjoying the destinations, Elli...superb!

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    1. Thanks dear Kajal - happy you enjoy it:-)

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  2. Whoa! It is stunning and beautiful! I'd like to go visit sometime :)

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  3. It looks so beautiful...wow. Added to the wishlist :)

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  4. That's a place I've always wanted to visit... Sounds so exotic, so other-worldly. And your photos, as well as the history you've shared here, have done nothing to convince me otherwise :)

    Happy A-to-Z-ing!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. That's great Guilie. Thanks a lot and hope you will get to visit..:-)

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  5. We were just talking about Cappadocia the other day as hubby asked me where I want to go next (It was on a short list). Thanks for sharing all your personal experiences there, it must have been really special to have the family connections.

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    1. That's awesome - I sure you will enjoy a visit there.. It's very special:-) Thank you so much for your kind words, Rhonda:-) All the best

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  6. So interesting and inviting. It is a part of the world I want to visit. Thank you for the tour

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    1. Thank you Carol. Hope you get to visit:-)

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  7. Dearest Eli,
    So glad you could be part of this emotional and very historical journey back to the time when your in-laws used to live there. Such a touching photo where they all packed up and left; what can you take with you?!
    It looks like the evacuation my husband and his family had to do with horse and wagon at the end of WWII... Sad things indeed! History is so cruel to its people and wars were always fought over the little man's head as they had no say, no power.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Thank you so much dear Mariette:-) Your kind and hearth-felt words make me so happy. It was very emotional.. Big hugs back to you

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  8. Completely loved those cave houses. They look like tiny doll houses.

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  9. Eli,

    I actually googled how to pronounce "Cappadocia". This is a new place for me and I never knew about it, It looks so lovely and I am so glad that you shared about this.

    ~Smile, it makes (y)our day!
    S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014

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    1. Thank you so much:-) Hugs to you

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  10. loved the pics and also your post !

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    1. Thanks a lot! So happy you loved it:-)

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  11. Hi Eli, another beautiful place in Europe with beautiful photos. Thanks for opening up the world for me...

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Jayanta:-) So appreciate it:-)

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  12. Its gorgeous, ain't it! lovely article.
    I wrote a post on it as well.
    http://soniarevankar.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/an-experience-in-the-fairy-land-turkey/

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    1. That's great - will pop over and read it. Thanks for your kind words, Sonia:-)

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  13. I love Cappadocia and have spent a lot of time there when we lived in Turkey. What was the name of the village? I may have been there. Great story. I love that you drove; it's the best way to see the countryside. (Reflections Enroute) Happy A-Z Blogging!

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    1. Thank you Corinne, happy you liked my story. The village my father in laws family left behind is called Hasaköy in Turkish. We stayed close to Aksaray- up in the mountains - at the guest house. Happy to connect with you:-)

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  14. Absolutely wow! WOW. This place sounds so intriguing, and your pictures and the description of your journey and time there makes it even more so. Somehow the emotional content of your post reminded me of the emotional journeys millions of people took at the time of India's partition. Leaving their homes behind, their belongings, everything to unknown lands...so sad indeed. But then, I look forward to a more cheerful destination for D, as you say :)

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    1. Thank you so much Beloo - for your kind words, and for sharing knowledge about India ... It is very sad indeed:-) All the best to you

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  15. What scenic raw beauty! Lovely! Thanks for another great trip! :)

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    1. Happy you enjoyed it dear Aditi:-) Thanks:-)

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  16. This is beautiful isn't it? wow you are truly lucky!

    Random Thoughts Naba

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  17. living inside the mountains and the special palce igt holds fo ru ... now thts quite a power packed post!

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    1. So happy you enjoyed it Mina:-) Thanks alot:-)

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  18. That was so interesting to read that people live inside of those mountains, and that last pic of the Greek monastery is really amazing. Beautiful captures.

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    1. Thank you Prasanna:-) So happy to see you here:-)

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  19. Eli ur post is touching luv and made me misty eyed as I felt along with you. Beautiful place. The homes in the mountains reminded me of a bee hive, I'd love to live in some such house which is a part of nature.

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    1. Oh wow Sunila- your words make me so happy:-) Thanks a lot:-)

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  20. I am claustrophobic so it is a no no for me from inside but the mountains look amazing. How people made houses inside is a mystery, did they have blue prints in their heads? I wonder, lovely destination yet again.

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    1. He he - yeah - u might wanna pass on those cave-houses then:-) Thanks a lot for nice words:-)

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  21. Wow, that's such a lovely looking place...The first picture, people actually live there...!!!!

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    1. Thank you dear Smitha:-) Big hugs to you:-)

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  22. I'm feeling jealous of you.... as you got to see all these amazing places :D ... added to travel-list! :)

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    1. So happy you liked it Sheethal:-) Hugs your way:-)

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  23. Wow...I loved this one the most..You actually took us with you to those claustrophobic dungeons ..but it was fun..wont attempt it in reality. What a fruitful trip you had going back to the roots...

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    1. Yey! So happy you loved my post. Thanks:-) All the best

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  24. I went to Turkey last year but unfortunately couldn't squeeze in the time to go to Cappadocia ! The pictures and history that you have shared are wonderful and I look forward to visiting there soon :)

    Looking forward to your posts through the A to Z Challenge !

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    1. Thank you so much:-) I am sure you will enjoy your visit there:-) Best

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  25. WOW, what an amazing place. Loved seeing the pictures and hearing your descriptive tale of how people lived in the side of the mountain. Breathtaking and steeped with so much history! ♥

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    1. That is true. Thank you so much for your kind words, Kathy:-)

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  26. Wow. Travel truly broadens the mind. I did not even know Cappadocia existed. Thank you Eli! I gotta say travel posts are my favorites!

    Love, Vidya

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    1. Thank you so much dear Vidya:-) Hugs to you

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  27. woaa people still live there ... amazing :) looks like a place to visit.

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    1. No, not anymore- at least not in the caves.. So happy you liked it:-) Thanks:-)

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  28. Eli I am amazed to see that the discovery of your in laws roots took you to a wonderful place. And yes the pictures are amazing!

    Richa

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    1. Thank you so much dear Richa:-) So happy to amaze you:-)

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  29. Cappadocia is a truly wonderful place!! Beautiful photos!

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    1. Yes, truly is:-) Thanks a lot Michelle:-)

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  30. My husband's grandparents come from a quaint little village in Palakkad, Kerala. Even today, the house in which they lived stands, although in ruins. I can relate so well to the emotional quotient you mention in your post about visiting those ruined walls of the ancestral home. My cousins visited Turkey last year and came back with glowing reports. None of this place though. Thank you for this insight, Eli.

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    1. Thank you so much Shailaja- for you kind words, and for sharing your stories:-) All the best, dear

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  31. Eli, thanks for sharing your journey. It sounds amazing and I'm glad you were able to trace the family home too. Cappadocia is on my bucket list..someday..:)

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    1. Thank you so much:-) I hope you get to visit - it is an amazing place:-)

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  32. Yeah ...I enjoyed coming along with you...loved your feelings for your roots and your description and narration too.It was a lovely pictorial tribue

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    1. Yey! Happy to have you come along:-) Thanks a lot for your kind words:-)

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  33. Oh I love this because we were in Cappadocia in November and I have such fond memories of it. Very cool that you have a link to the area, even if it's somewhat sad. Great C, I really enjoyed the read!

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    1. Oh, that's great Calli! So happy you have seen it and also made good memories from there. It truly is a special place. So happy to connect with you:-)

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  34. What an amazing place, I had heard about the cave mountains- now i know they exist.
    What a journey to your roots, I was enriched.
    Thanks a lot.
    Health and Happiness always.
    http://inderpreetkaur.blogspot.in/2014/04/color-not-kind-i-like.html

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    1. Thank you so much:-) I am so happy you enjoyed it:-)

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  35. Cappadocia is on our bucket list, however having claustrophobia I don't think I could go down :(

    Shere y Paul
    also participating in AtoZ challenge

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    1. Oh, you will love it there, but yeah - might wanna skip those caves...underground:-) Happy to see you here:-) Will check out your blog now:-)

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  36. I hope to visit Cappadocia one day. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

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    1. I hope you will:-) Thanks for following:-)

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  37. Just wanted to tell you that you have picked an awesome theme for your A to Z Challenge - LOL that's probably because its the same as ours over at A Brit and A Southerner.

    I have to say that I have read a lot of posts and articles on Cappadocia recently and everything suggests that this is a beautiful region worth exploring. Honestly didn't know much about this prior to this but hopefully will get there sometime soon!

    Feel free to check out our posts over at http://abritandasoutherner.com on the same theme of #DreamDestinations - I wonder if we will cross paths at some point :)

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    1. Ha ha - that is great Chris! Thanks a lot for your kind words- and will definitely pop over to check you blog - your theme sounds awesome:-) He he

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  38. Getting to know new places as I come here! Lovely snaps too!
    Danny

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    1. Thank you so much Danny:-) Happy you enjoyed it:-)

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  39. Fascinating place! Thanks for sharing that. I'll be back for more.
    Debbie @ The Doglady's Den

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    1. Thank you Debbie:-) Happy to see you here. Hugs your way

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  40. I have stared at the first pic with cave houses in the mountains for so long... so very fascinating and intriguing!! You are sharing some amazing destinations with us, Eli! Loving it :)

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