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Photographer's Note

Regular visitors to the TE gallery will recognize this view as from somewhere in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey famous for its strange rocks and caves often used by Christian monks between the 4th and 13th centuries A.D.

Since 1985 Cappadocia is registered by the UNESCO as a world heritage site and has in recent years received huge numbers of foreign tourists.

But in 1970, when I travelled through Turkey for the first time (along with a friend), Turkey was not a major destination for foreign tourists and Cappadocia was largely unknown.

But I had heard of the rocks and caves containing churches from more than 1000 years ago, so when we arrived in the city of Kayseri we asked people we met if they knew how we could go there. There were no travel agencies offering sightseeing tours.

With the assistance of several persons we made an arrangement with a taxi driver to show us the most interesting places.

We spent a few hours in the scorching heat climbing the rocks and visiting a number of cave churches (I named seven in my diary). I was overwhelmed by the high quality of the paintings in some of these churches and found most of them in a surprisingly good condition.

Reading about Cappadocia today it is clear that the conditions were very different 52 years ago. There was no ticket office (free entrance to the entire area), no guards or guides and absolutely no hot-air balloons for sightseeing tours. We only saw about half a dozen other tourists and there is no mention in my diary of hotels, restaurants or cafés. The roads were all unpaved and dusty and most "traffic" consisted of donkeys carrying heavy burdens.

There are two photos in the WS. They were all taken with a rather primitive camera and scanned from Agfacolor CT18 slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12535 W: 572 N: 24035] (102650)
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