Sunday, July 19, 2015

The weird, wacky and wonderful shapes of Cappadocia

When I first decided to visit Turkey I knew  a must to visit was Cappadocia.  This land of fairy chimneys and weird shapes lies in the middle of Turkey on the Anatolian plains.  To quote Wikipedia...(I would never create a sentence this long! :) ) : "The Cappadocian Region located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey, with its valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation created as a result of the eroding rains and winds of thousands of years of the level, lava-covered plain located between the volcanic mountains Erciyes, Melendiz and Hasan as well as its troglodyte dwellings carved out of the rock and cities dug out into underground, presents an otherworldly appearance. The eruptions of these mountains which were active volcanoes in geological times lasted until 2 million years ago. A soft tuff layer was formed, 150 m in thickness, by the issuing lavas in the valley surrounded by mountains. The rivers, flood water running down the hillsides of valleys and strong winds eroded the geological formations consisting of tuff on the plateau formed with tuff layers, thus creating bizarre shapes called fairy Chimneys. These take on the names of mushroom shaped, pinnacled, capped and conic shaped formations"  The area was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985.  People have lived in the area for over a thousand years now and you can still see holes dug in the soft rock where people made their homes.  There are still homes created out of the rock although a little more civilized than the ones you will see!! 

We based ourselves in the town of Goreme...a place I will do a blog post about later...for now this will be more or less a photo essay on a wonderful morning we spent exploring the area by a private van.  Originally we were supposed to go on a hike in one area but due to the threat of heavy rain our tour leader asked us if we would like to pool in and hire a van.  It was a resounding "YES" all around.  I am so happy it worked out as we got to see a whole lot  more than we would have done walking in one area.  (though if we had had a third day there that would have been a fun thing to do)  So come along with our happy band of seven and one (awesome) tour leader as we visit the crazy shapes of Cappadocia.

Walking down the path to the first view point

Fairy chimney pots

They probably didn't get wifi in those cave dwellings!
Ahem...this is called Love Valley

Former dwellngs - amazing!

Well they had to have shops of course....

Would have been fun to explore but wonky knees prevented that

Looking towards Goreme

Love Valley

Walking amongst the ahem..."structures"

You had to pay to have your picture taken with the camel...don't think so!

Such cool tunnels...and no I don't have a big hat - that's a fellow walking behind me. :) 

Windy and cold - so had to buy another woolen hat ..ah well, I will be able to wear a different hat every day for a week this winter!  We will call this the Tuesday hat!

So while it did rain a little bit the weather wasn't as bad as we had feared - however I am still so very happy we did the van tour instead of the walk.   If you do nothing else in Turkey this area is a must see...besides Istanbul of course!  If you want to see what this area looks like from the area click here for my blog post of our wonderful balloon trip!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stalking Shaun the Sheep - the final episode

Yes one more Shaun the Sheep post...I have put a few sheep sculpture in other posts so excuse me if I repost the same ones...these are my favourites in no particular order.....Shaun the Sheep was on the streets of London from the 28th of March and extended until the 31st of May.  Out of 50 sculptures I saw 48 - not bad, eh?  For those keeping track.... for the life of me I could not find the one at the London Eye and I am sure it was a cutie being called "Ewe-nion Jack" and the one called Flash! at St Martin's Courtyard eluded me as well.  It wasn't for lack of trying!  I must admit it was great fun and I got to see places in London I'd never seen, hadn't seen in a while or just a good excuse to visit my favourite area of London. (which I must confess is the St James Park/Trafalgar Square area)  I will admit while I didn't physically beat kids off the sculpture (although it was tempting) I had been known to race them to it - and I usually won.  It was fun to meet other people who were Shaun stalkers as well.  I even paid to have the app on my phone as it was for a good cause.  Even though I could never figure out exactly how it worked....

I think some of these sculptures should have been called Shauna though...although maybe Shaun is a cross dresser....who knows?  

There are 120 Sculptures in total with 70 of them being in I didn't realize Bristol was that big!  An auction will take place on 8th of October of this year and the Wallace and Gromit's Children's charity will benefit.  I am sure some of the Shauns will still be hanging outside of a few shops and restaurants in the's hoping so even more people can enjoy them.

Robo-Shaun at the Royal Exchange

Shanghai Shaun - Leadenhall Market

Kanzashi - Lloyds building.  A group of photographers had thrown their bags at the base (tossers!) - they were photographing the Lloyd building...I think...

Ruffles - Devonshire Square.  This dude was a hard one to find....

Cute butt

The Pearly King - Liverpool Street station

Mr. Shaun - Finsbury Avenue Square

Mr Men!

Liberty Bell - Fenchurch Street station 

Shaun-xiao - Tower of London

Yeoman of the Baaard - Tower of London

Counting Sheep - the Barbican Centre

The Guardian - Guildhall

Pinky Plum - Somerset House

Frida Baa-hio - British Film Institute

Hello Kitty's One Kind Thing - Canary Wharf....this one was a bitch to find. 

Golden Fleece - Canary Wharf

Happy and Glorious - St James Park 
Mossy Bottom - Leicester Square

Mossy Bottom's ear

Wooly Jumbo - Leicester Square

Jingtai - China Town

Gruffalo Shaun - Piccadilly Circus

Sheep - and a mouse!

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom - Harrods   Try getting a clear shot of  this one

Baa-burshka - Carnaby Street

Rule Brittania - Broadwick Street

Me llamo Shaun - Spring Gardens, The Mall

Lambmark Larry - Platform 8, Paddington Station

Best looking bum I've seen in a while - Lambmark Larry

And last but certainly not least...Paddington Shaun!  Merchant Square, Paddington Basin

Traveling by Goat to the Western Lake District of England

That title got your attention, didn't it?  Okay, I didn't actually travel on the back of a goat...I mean the poor goat would be dea...