A very surreal landscape. We spent the morning at the Goreme Open Air Museum and the rest of the day wandering the streets and climbing the hills around Goreme. And of course the highlight of the day for me was riding a camel!
The frescos in the churches carved into the rocks are amazingly well preserved (except where the faces were bashed in!) - quite a surprise actually. It is a rock settlement which was home to a very active monastic community from the 4th to 8th century AD. Churches, chapels, dining halls and living halls were carved in to the tock faces. Geometric ornamentation can be seen in the first layers of paint, while the frescos made later depict scenes from Jesus in the Bible. The earliest extant church is from the 10th century.
Looking over the town from the top of the hills surrounding it was a real highlight too.
Goreme itself is obviously a big tourist town in the summer but only 2000 residents. Souvenir stands and restaurants, ATV tours, balloon tours, horseback riding tours, taxi tours, and camel rides. We were thankful that things have quieted down a bit. Quite cool here at night - maybe due to elevation - but warm bordering on hot in the daytime. Only 20993 paces today but 71 flights of stairs which is a record.
One of the highlights of the area is watching all the balloons sailing over the strange landscape in the morning.
Another great day!