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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Goreme: Open Air Museum & Sweet Shopkeepers

Goreme Open Air Museum

It was our last day in Cappadocia, so we headed to the Goreme Open Air Museum. In the 11th century many Christians had settled in the region and created these cave churches. The churches were used as graves to bury important individuals during that time, as well as used as places of worship. Some of the churches even had kitchens and eating areas (with a table and bench) in them to feed large groups, and rooms to stomp the grapes to make wine.

However, the most amazing part of the churches for us was the art. There were still designs and paintings that were done on the ceilings to depict images of Christ and scenes during his lifetime or other parts of the Bible. Although it was an extra 10 TL to enter, the Dark Church had some of the more impressive architecture and vibrant paintings (due to little light being allowed in the cave). The inside of these churches even had the domes in the ceiling along with columns to represent many of the cathedrals in Western Europe. To think that they had carved all those elements out of the cave was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any photos of them as it was prohibited in order to preserve the art. However, if you google 'Dark Church images' you'll get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Goreme - So Sweet to Kids!

We went for lunch in Goreme; afterwards Clara and I walked around the shops to get some souvenirs. The shop owners are really nice and not too pushy. My daughter loved the experience because she got special attention from a couple of the shopkeepers who were older women. One woman gave her (and then I) a sugar wafer cookie and then another shop gave my daughter a child’s size ring - which she loved, as she is obsessed with rings lately! The woman didn’t speak English so when she gave it to her I wasn’t sure if she was just letting her wear it in the shop or not. So before left I tried to give it back to her and eventually we got the point that we understood she wanted us to keep it. I’m such a sucker for getting something when they do something nice like that - so we ended up getting a little item from each of them.

We had to head back to Kayseri to catch our flight that evening back to Izmir. We had a little time to kill before returning our rental car so we went to a local playground to play. (Which by the way was super convenient to have while visiting Cappadocia so we could explore the various attractions that are so spread out.)

The flight was fairly quick - as always it is mostly the waiting around before and after that takes the most time. While the flight was only about an hour from Kayseri to Izmir, we didn’t get to our hotel off the highway just north of Izmir until around 11:20 p.m.

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