Most of our group arose early to go ballooning over Cappadocia. This was a fascinating experience, and I wanted to share one of the beautiful scenes of the landscape and some of the other balloons that were gliding under the control of their capable pilots.
We spent the entire day visiting the lunar-like Cappadocian countryside. The region is described this way: “Most of this part of Cappadocia is covered with a deep layer of tufa, a soft stone of solidified mud, ash and lava which once poured down from the now extinct volcanoes on Hasan Dagi and Ericiyes Dagi, the two great mountain peaks of Cappadocia. In the eons since then the rivers of the region have scoured canyons, gorges, valleys and gulleys through the soft and porous stone, and the elements have eroded it into fantastic crags, folds, turrets, pyramids, spires, needles, stalagmites, and cones, creating a vast outdoor display of stone sculptures in an incredible variety of shapes and colours” (John Freely, The Companion Guide to Turkey, 238).
Devout Jews from Cappadocia were present in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:9). Peter=s letters were addressed to Christians living in Cappadocia (1 Pet. 1:1). In the centuries after New Testament times many Christians settled in this volcanic region of perhaps 50,000 cones. Hundreds of churches and numerous villages (e.g., Urgup and Goreme) were cut into these strange looking formations. Some apartment buildings are as much as 16 stories high. Subterranean cities (e.g., Kaymakli and Derinkuyu) extend downward to a depth of 8 to 10 levels. (See National Geographic, Jan., 1958; July, 1970).
Tomorrow we will travel south to Adana in ancient Cilicia. We will pass through the famous Cilician Gates in the Tarus Mountains.
Thanks for checking in each day. Here is a photo of our group which was made today by Adem Yildirim, local photographer, with my camera. How many of the group do you know?