Tag Archives: history

Göreme Open Air Museum (Cappadocia Photo Dump #3)

First, a couple pictures I snapped on my way out of Göreme on my way to the museum…

The Old Cappadocia Pancake House gave me a little chuckle. I guess you can kinda call Gozleme’s “pancakes” but that really stretches it. On the menu list you can see the second option is “chese” a little later down they have another choice “beef and chesee”. On the scrolling neon sign they spell the word, “chesse”. Keep trying different spellings. Sooner or later they will get one right. 🙂

The skyline in this next photo is Sunset point (to the left of the flag) and path (extending off to the right) where many of the photos for Cappadocia photo dump #2 were snapped. There are three tiny dots on the right of the skyline that are actually three people sitting and enjoying the view. It is about where they are where I snapped the selfie that is currently my facebook profile picture.

And now on the road to El Nazar Church…


This next one would have been the home of the priest or monk responsible for the church. It is actually larger than most homes I have seen and might even have been a meeting place. One thing that I am constantly reminded of here is how everyone’s homes were so much smaller than what we think we need today. Even those living with what we now call “tiny homes” would be extravagant by comparison.

Now on to the Open Air Museum…

I’m only allowed to take pictures inside when nobody’s looking to tell me no.  (Interpret that how you want) So know that any pictures like the next couple from here on out were snapped covertly. 😉

Most of the dozens of churches here are very small and are places for prayer (and burial) rather than meeting places like we consider church today. I do have a little evidence that the larger one halfway through the trip was the exception. The table for forty is served…

Now back outside:

When I returned to Goreme, I noticed a place that whares the name of one of my favorite restaurants in Gaziantep. While it was good, clearly not all Istasyon’s are created equal. Good bye till next time.



Saint Nick’s Cathedral

I am going to try and do a minimum of commentary and just let my pictures do the talking for me. This past weekend I visited the ancient city of Myra which is also where Saint Nikolaus (Santa Claus) spent his entire ministry career.

The weather the entire time was gorgeous and the small local town of Demre was about what I expected. My first real surprise came when I walked to Santa Square. I turned a corner and it was almost like I entered a complete different world. If I were to describe the change in two words they would be “Russian” and “Empty.”

I turned a corner and what I was seeing immediately went from a typical Turkish town to this:


Although nearly every door on the side of every building was promoting the sale of icons or other memorabilia, there was only one shop open. There was only one person working that shop and they were watching me make my gradual, zig zagging way in their direction. Most of what they were selling was very Russian or Eastern European in nature but I could find one or two grudging nods to the “western” concept of Santa.

Being their only customer, and with them even seeming surprised somebody actually came out, I felt obligated to buy something (an English language guide to the city). Her Turkish accent sounded Russian and she was delightfully surprised I was able to say “thank you” and “God bless you” in what was surely horribly accented Russian. I then made my way into her shop which didn’t even have lights on until I came close. Clearly there was another individual hiding somewhere in the shadows.

The shop was one end of a large, four story building and I made my way past the shopfront end back into what still felt like a ghost town. Imagine one store open in an empty mall. For those in Rochester, just imagine Irondequoit Mall. The roof did provide a nice vantage of the area and I snapped a few from there before heading down to see if St Nikolaus Church was open.


The church was open. I spent a few hours in there doing some exploring and a little photography but mostly I simply soaked in the solitude and beauty of such an ancient sacred space. There was one early moment when I couldn’t help bursting into laughter. The idea of Santa Claus as a “teacher of abstinence” was just too much.


OK. Enough of me. Now, I’ll step out of the way and let the pictures do the talking. As always, every picture can be enlarged by clicking…
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The Ruins (Theater and Necropolis)


For my very brief Christmas break this year I went to the ancient city of Myra. Why on earth would I go there? Because I love Santa Claus, of course!

Now I am sure some of you have read those first three sentences and are doing a wee bit of head scratching. Let me back up a bit. Saint Nick is actually a real person. He was a bonafide pastor (bishop) way back in the day and if one were to explore his life, it becomes easy to see the kernel of truth that blossomed into the legend of the rolly polly jolly fat man that most of us love today. For those of you who don’t and have this crazy notion that telling your kids that Santa isn’t real is the height of good parenting… stop lying to your children. Of course Santa is real!

But really, I’ll be dealing with Santa, and who he was in my next post. I took enough pictures this past holiday weekend that I will be breaking this into two posts. Since I personally think the Saint Nik part is the better, more interesting half, I’ll be saving that for later. In this post we have pictures of the ruins of the city of Myra. With only a minimum of commentary, here’s the theater and necropolis (graveyard) from that ancient Lycaean village:

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These first five are approach shots taken as I was on my way to (or from) the ruins. There’s a fortress that sits atop that first picture. Originally, my intention was to climb up there but it never happened. I was still recovering from a small bout of the flu and even climbing to these lower spots was embarrassingly tiring for me.

The next few shots are all of the amphitheater:

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The next few are taken from various entrances or exits to the theater. All these pictures, top to bottom, can be clicked for high quality, full size versions:

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While working my way through the ruins, I could always hear the bell on this lawnmower ringing on the wind. Sometimes it would be above me, sometimes below, often I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Usually it was the only sound I could hear and it seemed an eerily appropriate accompaniment to the ancient memories I was eavesdropping on.

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A few more for the road. You might notice that I took no pictures from inside the necropolis itself. That wouldn’t actually be true. I’m just keeping them for me. Maybe it is because I am not quite sure I was allowed to be in there. (There were signs saying climbing was dangerous but none explicitly forbidding it). Partly because they don’t do the live site justice. Mostly it is because not all memories or experiences are meant to be shared with the world. Anyways, I’ll be back here tomorrow (or soon) with Santa Claus and his cathedral.

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