Turkish delight

 

Today’s blogging prompt is to write about a place that I would like to visit. Where would I like to travel? Well, back in the April Ultimate Blogging Challenge, I had responded to a similar blogging prompt by beginning an imaginary trip around the world. I traveled west, through Canada, and then crossed the ocean to Asia. I have continued the journey off and on, since April.

The last place that I visited in my imaginary journey was Transylvania. So now, I am going to head back east and south. And, after a train ride through the night, I find myself in Turkey!!!!

Turkey is an unusual country because it spans two continents, Europe and Asia. It used to exist as the Ottoman Empire, a monarchy that was founded in about 1299. That’s a long time ago. At one point, the Ottoman Empire had control over a vast territory, which included much of southeastern Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Turkey officially became Turkey in 1923, about a year after the title of the sultan of the Ottoman Empire was officially abolished.

So what is there about Turkey that made it my choice of a place to visit? Well, there’s a lot to see. There is an historic city called Ephesus, where I walk down streets that are older than my imagination can conceive. I walk in a city that is far older than the Ottoman Empire, as it dates back to about the tenth century B.C. The Temple of Artemis is there, and that is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. I feel awestruck that I am experiencing such a city. It is a city that is full of stories and songs that are eons old and seconds old. It is as old as the tales of the past that resonate from the old structures and it is as young as the cry of a newborn baby. It is ancient and it is current. It throbs with the life of the past and it hums with the life of today and it sings with the hope of life tomorrow. I see many ruins of houses, temples, libraries, theaters, etc. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to the Bible, Saint Paul visited Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquilla and later wrote a letter to Ephesus when he was in prison in Rome.


I then travel to the Fethiye district, Mugla Province, on the Mediterranean coast to see the Butterfly Valley. I am enamored with butterflies, and in the Butterfly Valley, they are there in great number and in many varieties. In fact, there are actually 105 different species of butterflies in this valley that features a rich variety of flora and fauna. 

After spending some time with the butterflies in this beautiful place, I leave the coast and head to central Turkey, to the region of Cappadocia, there are interesting stone structures, which I will describe a little later in the story. I also get the chance to visit entire towns that exist underground, called tunnel towns. One of the most amazing of the tunnel towns is a city called Derinkuyu. It is an entire city that exists completely underground. In the tunnel cities, there are actual tunnels built between sleeping areas and stables and communal rooms and tombs and more. It was actually very deep in the ground, much deeper than a basement. It is very possible to live in these underground spaces, only emerging to the surface occasionally. The inhabitants of the underground cities lived lives hidden from people who might have persecuted them. So Derinkuyu. At its height, it had a population of 20,000.  The tunnel cities are now unoccupied, but they are partially opened to visitors as historical sites. They were occupied as late as the early 1920s. Here is a link that gives interesting information about tunnel cities.

My overnight accommodations in Cappadocia were not the run of the mill hotel or hostel. Nope, there’s nothing ordinary about staying in Cappadocia. I enjoyed the cave that I slept in. I found out a lot about cave hotels during my time underground. Some of the cave hotels are pretty luxurious. It’s not all bats and stalactites and stalagmites. It is a true experience of Cave Dwelling, with perks. When I emerged from the cave to the surface, I saw colorful hot air balloons, and I flew high. Another magical moment. It reminded me that life is full of magical moments, but sometimes, it’s hard to be aware that you’re in one.

On another night, when I visited Faralya, I slept in a teepee and sat up late at night, watching the movements of the ocean.

But back to Cappadocia and those unusual rock formations. After sleeping in the cave motel, I took a hike through Love Valley. It’s called Love Valley because the whole valley is full of large phallic-shaped rocks. They are really huge and, apparently, quite an hilarious sight. They are everywhere. You’re going to want to be photographed with at least one of them. Remember the concept of “picture or it never happened.”

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the story of adventure in Turkey. From exploring a valley full of butterflies to visiting a city built deep within the ground to wandering through the Valley of Love to walking the streets of one of the most ancient cities in the world, Turkey is definitely a place to visit, in real life, as well as on my imaginary journey around the world.

4 thoughts on “Turkish delight”

  1. "life is full of magical moments, but sometimes, it's hard to be aware that you're in one." – you are speaking some big truth there! Love it! Thanks for the journey to Turkey. Now I don't have to go. 😉 Does sound interesting, though!

  2. Where do you want to go today?

    Wow Alice, your description gives me a better impression of Turkey than the photos I took when I actually visited. 👍🏽

  3. Thank you for taking me along on your imaginary trip to Turkey! I'd love to take Lia to see Butterfly Valley, sounds like a magnificent place to visit!

  4. h2hsc2020@gmail.com

    I enjoyed the journey with you to Turkey. I especially liked the Butterfly Valley section. As for the cave hotel, was it an actual cave in your story? The font you are using in the story – I like too. May I ask what it is?

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