Suitcase and World: Sunset over Cappadocia.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunset over Cappadocia.

hen Şahin offered to take Lei and I to a nearby vista point to see the sun set, we gladly accepted. That's how we ended our second day in Cappadocia.

We met up with Şahin at his shop at around 6pm. From there, we took a short walk that took us on a winding uphill walk through a neigborhood in Göreme.

It was a nice walk, kids were out playing in the streets - it was nice to hear their laughter. We meandered up the streets, chatting all the way. We peppered poor Şahin with questions about what it's like to live in this remote part of Turkey. He pointed out markers for us to use as "breadcrumbs" so we could find our way back into the village.

Soon the houses came to an end and we were surrounded by nature.

From high above, we could see the layout of Göreme below. Somehow, you can never resist trying to spot out places that you ordinarily see from ground level. In this case, Şahin challenged us to find his shop. For some reason, I could not get oriented and Lei, who is usually directionally challenged, managed to spot it in the village landscape!

While Lei and Şahin found spots to enjoy the sun set over the village, I headed in the opposite direction to see the glow of the setting sun on the famed landscape of Cappadocia.

It's when the sun begins to fade that the Rose Valley lives up to its name - it's rocky face displaying delicate shades of pink and rose. The white tuff of the surrounding pinnacles provide stark contrast. This is Mother Nature at her best.

In the distance, I could see the faint snow capped peak of Mt. Erciyes, the highest mountain in central Anatolia. It is a volcano and I believe it's no longer active but its eruptions,millenia ago, contributed the formation of this region.

After a hectic day of ballooning, horseback riding and window shopping, just sitting on a rock and daydreaming was the perfect antidote. There was a gentle breeze to keep the heat away and I was facing away from the sun so I could admire every piece of the rocky landscape without having to squint my eyes. Perfect moment. I was decompressing from the day. Soon, people started to arrive and I took that as my cue to leave. I slowly walked back to where Lei and Şahin had scoped out spots to sit on and joined in on their conversation. All in all, it was a very mellow experience.

Şahin soon left us as he had to return to his shop - a friend came to pick him up on a scooter. I soon left and headed back on foot - returning down the meandering neighborhood streets that we had walked up. Lei stayed behind till just before sun completely faded behind the hills.

Sunset over Cappadocia. A special place, a special time. Wonderful companions. An unforgettable experience.