Sunday, November 27, 2011

Canyons of Ihlara Valley: The Place To Touch the Ancient Past

Ihlara Valley and its canyons may be seen in Cappadoccia, Turkey. Camping travelling in such a place will be something you'll never forget.

You may rent a car but remember that fuel is very expensive in Turkey (about 2,5 dollars).

We will go to Ihlara valley through the salty lake of Tuz. Due to evaporation the lake loses most part of its water in summer and on the dried bottom there forms a layer of salt 30cm thick. In winter it dissolves again in fresh water that the lake get from rain and flows from the ground. 

High water in the lake, it's quite shallow in fact.

Shore of the lake

Landscapes not far from the lake

Near Selim village

This place is hard to miss - here is only one road, and on the right is a burial of the monarch.

You will have to buy a ticket to visit this national park, however is it honest to pay for seeing forests and mountains?

However this place is definitely worth seeing: it's unique, beautiful and rather unusual.
Building of churches started here in the IV century. They were decorated with plain and low-paint frescos of the Syrian origin (beginning of the IX century). All in all there were built 105 churches in the valley till XIV century.

Temples are something to impress here - dark, destroyed but with frescos remained. When you see or touch them it seems you touch the past...

Dimensions of the temples are impressive too, hard to imagine how they could build something like this...

Incredible that they still exist!

Preserved frescos. Probably few people go this far to this part of the valley cause the images of Christian saints are not restored here.

The temples outside

And it's the very national park. It is 15 km long and stretches from the north to the south.

The north part of the park (usually tourists are taken to the south).

Over the canyon

Near Ihlara village. This valley is often jokingly called "a little Grand Canyon"

Sunsets are fantastic here!

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