Sun 19 Jun 2011 18:38
What a wacky place! The terrain is totally surreal, with amazing pinnacles of rock with precarious mushroom tops just waiting to fall off. It’s all made of tufa from 3 volcanoes which created the area. The rock is really porous and easily eroded by wind and rain, hence the weird rock formations, of which the Love Valley (so called because of all the erect willies) is an extreme example. To complete the picture, the sky is full of hot air balloons each morning taking tourists who can’t be bothered to walk up a hill to see the sights!
Because it is so easily carved by the elements, it is also easily carved by people, and so there are numerous cave houses, one of which we stayed in. There are also intriguing doll sized windows in some of these rocks, these are pigeon houses. The people used to make use of pigeon droppings for fertiliser, and provided cave houses for them. The whole place is, by its very nature, falling apart and the hotel owners spend all their time sweeping up eroded sand and gravel.
Its all very touristy and un-serious. The authentic whirling dervish ceremony we went to was not what we would call serious. We read a bit about this ancient branch of Islam, it is very meaningful and enables the dancers to commune with God. On this occasion however, the dervishes were dispensed with early in the evening to make time for lots of turkish folk dancing and the inevitable belly dancing. I got dragged from the audience to have a goalong with 2 other victims. We got some sparkly tassles tied around our bums and all had a go at wiggling. Nobody (especially me) could make our boobs jump around at will like our mentor. Tony, our Australian friend on a gap year from the hotel, turned out to be an excellent belly dancer. He was especially good at snaking his hands up behind his back in a very sinuous manner (creepy). All in all it wasnt too scary and everyone treated the whole thing as a big laugh.
Our other job in Goreme was to buy a rug for Jen & Ben’s wedding present. I expect we were ripped off but it was really fascinating to see the whole process.
We had been niggled by a problem with the car steering for a little while & decided it was time to get it fixed. This started quite an odyssey that meant changing our route yet again. More later