19 June 2014

Selime Monastery

The last stop on our tour was at the Selime Monastery in the Aksaray Province around Cappadocia.

Dated from the 8th or 9th century, the Selime Monastery is the largest rock-cut religious complex in the area and was home to Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Danisment, Seljuk, and Ottoman civilizations. So it's pretty obvious that this place has seen a lot!

I heaved a sigh when our tour bus pulled up. More climbing and stairs. More chances to slip/stumble/fall to my messy death. MG convinced me to do it and I'm glad I was. Selime Monastery is very cool and is a must see if you're visiting Cappadocia. The entire area is mid boggling really. I realize to an extent that these civilizations were taking advantage of natural caves but there was certainly a great deal of man hours that went into creating these places.

Selime Monastery is also known as an inspiration for parts of the Star Wars movies. I had to look this up because I think maybe I've seen the Star Wars movies...once...20 something years ago. Scenes for the Sand People (?) were filmed nearby. However because permissions wasn't granted to film the actual scenes here, only the land was filmed and was then combined with the action shots which were filmed in Tunisia.

We had an exhausting day. Up at 3:30 AM for the balloons, then walking around underground cities, valleys, and monasteries the rest of the day! Aside from the great time we had I also was reminded about some great curses in Turkish (courtesy of our tour guide) and found a new cookie obsession (shortbread-like cookie with orange and cinnamon!). Good day. We're still not done though! We had one more day in the area so hopefully I'll stop being lazy and get that posted soon!

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