Travel with me #107 : Selime Monastery, Goreme horse ranches and Viewpoint restaurant!

in #dlive5 years ago

Dear Steemit Friends:


Discovering Selime Monastery and Goreme horse ranches

As you'll discover with me today, this land's cave dwellings were shaped by ancient settlers.

Welcome back friends, to my discovery of the Central Anatolian Region of Turkey. The area I am exploring with you is located in Cappadocia, with it's fairy Chimneys, ancient cave dwellings and charming local people. As you'll discover with me today, this land's cave dwellings were shaped by early Christian settlers who were fleeing persecution.

The cave dwellings of Cappadocia have also been home to a wide range of different peoples. Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Danişment, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations have all inhabited the region during different periods of history. As you move around the region, it's not difficult to understand why. The landscape is other-worldly, beautiful and surprisingly fertile for the right crops and grazing animals. It was also prized for its defensibility against attack which is why so many different peoples chose to make this their home over the centuries.

The hidden monastery of Selime

The Selime monastery was first built between the 8th and 9th century though the region has seen habitation for thousands of years. There is evidence of the Hittite people from as early as 1800 BC with their empire reaching its height around the mid 14th century BC. Since the collapse of the Hittite civilization, the region has seen host to Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Danişment, Seljuk and Ottoman peoples.

The Selime monastery is the largest example of a religious building in the Cappadocia region with a church the size of a cathedral. The monastic complex is huge and includes quarters for monks, large kitchens and stables.

To get to the monastery, you have to climb a steep, rocky pathway. Apparently, camel caravans used to stop over at Selime, and would be stabled inside the monastery itself. I hope camels are better at rock climbing than I am because, though not long, the path was very difficult to walk up.

Once I got up, the view from the top was worth it! As you can see, amongst all of the rocky landscape, there's a lot of fertile land. The green of the plants really contrasts with the yellows and oranges of the rock.


Every fairy chimney and rock formation that that you can see in this area has been adapted in some way by humans. The natural rock formations have been hollowed out for different living areas. You can see the doors and windows just appearing in the side of the rock faces. The Cappadocia region of Turkey is subject to extreme changes in weather. In the summer you'll experience temperatures as high as 40 degree centigrade, but in winter the area is covered in a thick layer of snow. That makes it very difficult to make housing that can deal with these two extremes.

Cleverly, the local people realised that caves are the perfect for surviving this changing landscape. The traditional non-cave architecture of the region has flat roofs, which is a problem when there is snow because the weight of the snow can cause the roof to collapse. With more modern building methods, this isn't so much of a problem, but to ancient people, it made most non-cave structures impractical. The caves also have an amazing property because they stay a similar temperature inside all year around. That means when it's freezing outside, it will feel warm inside the caves and when it's hot outside, it will feel warm inside the caves.

I really got the sense of surviving and thriving from the area. The local peoples used the resources that they had available to them to help them live. Every natural resource was used to help them survive, but they still lived in harmony with their landscape by using it to help them rather than destroying it for their own purposes.


Some of the cave entrances were very large. The Selime monastery used to have a bazaar here where camel caravans would stop to sell their goods on the way to other towns in the area. For protection, the camels used to be brought inside the cave complex so they would not be stolen or have to endure bad weather. So the entrances had to be big enough for camels!

I was told that camels were one of the most valuable resources to a caravan trader because without them they could not trade their goods or carry their food and water. Losing a camel could ruin a caravan's business so they looked after them as well as they looked after themselves so they always brought them inside when they could to keep them safe. It was fascinating to imagine camels once walking around these ancient tunnels!


This being the largest religious cave structure in the Central Anatolian Region means that it is also ornately carved and decorated. In many of the cave dwellings that I visited, the cave doors would just open up straight out of the rock. In Selime many of the doors had also had archways carved for their entrances to make them look more impressive.

The structure of the Selime monastery is well maintained compared to some of the other caves that I visited. It meant that I could climb up inside some of the amazing tunnels inside the rocks which afforded stunning views of the local area. The monastery complex didn't just serve as a place of worship. It also hosted a military presence which shows that this region was not always the peaceful land that it is today. Looking out over the beautiful fairy chimneys, it was difficult to think that once this area would have been a stronghold for people against religious persecution. Perhaps this view point was once used as a look out place for the people defending this monastery.

Once I moved inside, the true wonder of Selime is displayed for all to see. Many of the ceilings were carved and vaulted in peaks and domes. Like many of the places I visited around Cappadocia they had also carved shelves in to the rock walls for storage in their communal areas. There were so many rooms, I just felt like I would get lost in the maze of tunnels and archways. It is amazing to think that all of these rooms were carved by hand. Though the rock formations would have had some small natural caves, most of the cave systems are hand cut by man using basic tools to shape their homes and churches.

Can you see the little holes carved high up in the rock? These were carved as little homes for pigeons. I learned that the pigeon is very important to the region because they were used for sending messages from place to place. Pigeons have an ability to track certain locations. You would house your pigeon at one place for a long time, and it would learn the magnetic location of that place. Then when you travelled somewhere else, you could take your pigeon with you and if you wanted to send a note home, you could attach your note to the pigeon and it would be able to navigate its way back to its original home location, like a little pigeon satnav! I wonder if I could have a few pigeons to keep in touch with my friends? I'm not sure I could have enough pigeons to keep in touch with all of you!

The pigeon egg shells were also ground up to be used to make plaster and their egg whites were used to make a glaze to help protect the wall paintings that were painted onto the walls of the caves. Who knew pigeons were so useful? And that explains the hundreds of holes carved up high in to the rock - they were homes for all of them to live in!

To get to this door you'd have to walk on that tiny ledge!

After much wandering through the winding tunnels I found the main church. I cannot believe that this was carved from the rock by hand. The arches were beautifully shaped and the ceiling was so high. It had everything a modern church would have, with space to sit, an alter at the front and big domed ceilings, except this was build right inside a fairy chimney!

A view from high up on the mountainside

You can see just how huge these structures are. I know I'm small but these made me feel really tiny! I tried to touch the top of the doors, but even when jumping I always missed the top because they were so big. I just couldn't believe the detail that I was discovering. Built over 1200 years ago, the structure of the church caves is remarkably well preserved. I suppose when you build things out of solid rock, they are built to last! Unlike many areas that I visited in the Central Anatolian Region these rooms were carved with decorative pillared doorways, supporting pillars and archways. I was told that they were not needed to make the building strong - they were already strong because they are built of solid rock. All of the arches were put in just for their beauty, and beautiful they really are.

I had to take some close ups of the carvings above the door way to the church. It must have taken thousands of hours just to hollow out the room, but to then carve such detail is amazing. I wonder how many people it took to make this room like it is... I am so happy that it is still around for me to see these thousands of years later.

A carriage ride around Goreme

Goreme town is the base that most people use to explore the beautiful landscape and fairy chimneys that the region has to offer. The local population of Goreme is around two thousand people but that number swells during the tourist seasons as the town offers a wide range of accommodation and restaurants that cater to the growing tourism industry.

While discovering a little more of the town in the afternoon after my visit to Selime, I stumbled across this ornately decorated carriage just sitting by the side of the road. I thought that a carriage ride would be a lovely way to see the town, but I wasn't sure if that's what the driver was offering. He seemed to just be sitting around! I just had to see if I could get a ride around town so in a moment of boldness I approached the driver to ask him about his horse and carriage.

It turned out that he did in fact give a short ride around the ancient town as a little tour. I think he was new to doing this because he seemed a bit nervous with his horse on the roads or maybe he was being extra careful because he wanted to make sure I felt secure on my ride.


This turned out to be a great way to see the local town of Goreme, and it felt very authentic to be riding a long with a horse whose ancestors have probably transported people around these lands for hundreds of years. I didn't know any good Turkish names so I just called my new horse companion Bill. My guide was absolutely lovely and was very friendly. He helped me feel completely relaxed, even though he was a bit nervous, and he told me all about his ranch on the outskirts of town.

Me, always wanting an adventure, asked if he could take me on a visit to see his ranch. To my delight he agreed and he seemed happy that he would be able to show off where he looked after his horses.

When we arrived at the ranch after a short ride, I was surprised by how many horses he had! They were all so friendly and though I felt a little scared at first, I felt like they knew this and were extra gentle with me. Soon they were letting me stroke their soft noses and they all wanted to hug up against me. It felt like the horses here wanted to welcome me to Goreme and their home!

As you can see, even here there were more examples of cave dwellings. I imagined to myself that each of these handsome guys had their own little cave dwelling there they'd go to sleep at night, taking advantage of the ancient caves for their shelter. Perhaps they were living in the same cave stables that their great great great grandfathers also stabled in.

Horses are essential to the region and were the main mode of transport around the fairy tale landscape for thousands of years. The Central Anatolian Region is very large and the terrain is rough, so horses were important for getting around between cave settlements. I learned that this breed of horse was prized for being strong and hardy, but also being small and nimble. They are great at picking paths through the rough rock formations and keeping their riders safe by being extremely sure-footed. In times gone by, these horses would have helped connect the peoples of the area in trade and friendship. They were certainly very friendly to me! I even got to feed them.

Viewpoint Cafe and Restaurant

I finally had to leave my new horse-friends as it was nearly their bed time. I wanted to experience more of Goreme so I chose to eat dinner at Viewpoint Cafe and Restaurant whose terrace restaurant boasts 360 degree views of the town. Goreme is beautiful in the day but it comes alive at night with lights of every different colour lighting up the buildings and fairy spires all around the town. Viewpoint really was a viewpoint and had some of the best views of the town that I had yet experienced. I found it difficult to even order my food from the menu because I couldn't stop staring out from the terrace.

Viewpoint Cafe and Restaurant is located in the centre of Goreme and has a small, intimate atmosphere. Their menu consists of a range of family recipes. They ensure that they only use the freshest, local ingredients and the menu changes daily based on the base ingredients that are available that day. Their skilled chefs make a new menu each day and offer a variety of home-made dishes and desserts. All of the staff were friendly and helpful and really made you feel like you were sitting down for dinner at a friend's house. I felt very welcomed!

As you can see Goreme comes alive at night and is always beautifully illuminated

Fresh home-made bread to start the meal

The variety of food and flavours served here was amazing but what really appealed to me was the colours. Every dish had bright colours, contrasting and vibrant. They just caught your eyes and made you want to eat them, but at the same time you didn't want to eat them or you'd their simple but beautiful presentation on the plate. Between the colour of the town's lights and those on my plate, I felt like I was in a vibrant fantasy land.

The fish course was served on a fish plate!

This freshly squeezed orange juice from local trees was just what I needed after my hot day sightseeing

Can you believe this view? My meal took so long because I couldn't stop staring out at the fairy chimneys of Goreme.

And so comes to an end another day of travelling. Thank you for discovering Selime Monastery with me and riding a long on my carriage ride to discover a local horse ranch. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and it was lovely to have you travelling a long with me. I was most fascinated by the church in Selime because it was just so big. I was trying to imagine someone carving all of that architecture from the stone by hand and I just couldn't understand it. It felt like nature must have somehow carved these shapes from the rock because they were so at home in the landscape and their construction was so sympathetic to the nature of the area. The archways of the doors, windows and decorations were so intricate and their designs have survived thousands of years, almost untouched.

Thank you for commenting on my posts. If you liked this one please give it an upvote and make sure you follow me for future blogs as well! To all my friends on Steemit, have a great day and I'll see you next time!








My video is at DLive

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The most inspiring thing about steemit is that you feel connected with different part of the world when see someone's post.

I can imagine that ... I really feel the same .. spread love everywhere .. be happy 😊😀😎❤️


Yeah that’s very nice art 😍

thanks man

You’r Welcome artist steemian friend 😎

Dammit, hers are the best blogs anywhere I've ever seen. So much dedication by someone with so much money already. I know many would just take vacations and post little bits here and there, but she still keeps on the quality and immersing her readers with her outstanding writing style. I'm in awe.

Yes she is very much dedicated. But why not enjoying and making some money lol

Yes, you are right :)

Hi! @sweetsssj how are you?
Can you visit my account wall? You put a surprise there and wish you liked it.

totally in agreement with you friend @introvert-dime, we connect in every part of the picture that we are seeing and inspire us to travel to all parts of the world, I love these pictures, I love to travel and I love your post, best regards @sweetsssj

Stunning photos! Love getting to explore different parts of the world with you through your posts. Thanks for sharing your experiences. 😄✌️💗

Hi everyone! please do help to upvote and resteem this post for my friend's father's heart. They need our support right now..

very true my friend

Hello beautiful people i am new here your support will be highly appreciated. So please follow me if you want to know more about Steemit News,art and entertainment and gaming :)

Aww.. Cappadocia is one of my favourite place in Turkey.

I have been waiting your post.
your pictures are so clear and sizes are perfect.
and I have never heard about Selime Monastery.
It made me interested in.
I love to travel like you
someday I would like to travel around world with camera.
Thanks you for sharing your experience.


Hello beautiful people i am new here your support will be highly appreciated. So please follow me if you want to know more about Steemit News,art and entertainment and gaming :)

She has a whole team ( family it seems ) that helps her. If you had that you could do it too!


@sweetsssj 甜姐,这个图像很可爱,好像Final Fantansy里头的Chocobo

如果能够骑着这么一只萌大鸟环游世界 - 爽翻了 :)




What's shelter for them is now a work of art. Though nature eventually takes over, it's remarkable how those man-made caves stood the test of time.

It’s sometimes thrilling to look beyond the photo as you do 👍🏼

Hello beautiful people i am new here your support will be highly appreciated. So please follow me if you want to know more about Steemit News,art and entertainment and gaming :)

Leaving comments asking for votes, follows, or other self promotional messages could be seen as spam.

Your Reputation Could be a Tasty Snack with the Wrong Comment!

Thank You! ⚜

Im so jealous with that black horse he almost kiss you. lol. You look like you enjoyed your vacation in Turkey, May God bless your trip further out there @sweetsssj. :)

Hey @sweetsssj - Nice photos indeed, they make me want to travel! :)
I just dropped by to let you know that some of the witnesses you are voting for are inactive and actually steempty is selling his account!. It would be great if you would consider switching an inactive vote to vote for me as as witness - it's important that witnesses are engaged and active here. Thanks!

What hinders you to travel?

Mostly being very busy making things to help evolve and heal the planet.. And caring for my elderly Father. But I will travel at some point this year :)

Wish the best for you .. and will be glad to see some of your photos when you travel. Even traveling in another city inside your country could be a refreshment .
Best wishes @ura-soul

张张都精彩, 喜欢坐马车的那张,还有喂马的那个, 真好!土耳其之旅,神奇之旅!

I just wonder : WHO is YOUR accompanying PHOTOGRAPHER ?!!!!!!!!! Who never appear in photos lol

she never is in the videos makes one go hmmm lol

YEP ! 😉😊

Or as @steemtiqa mentioned .. probably a whole family supports @sweetsssj to make these wonderful photos and videos 😉😘

A stunning scenery as background of a very beautiful @sweetsssj :)

aww you have such a good way with words, thank you!

Very nice scenery......

Pls visit my link and vote my post..........

Beautiful well done .. the place looks amazing
I liked .. wonderful pictures from you, good for you
Thanks for sharing this with us

Hoping to win the lotto to travel world hehe :)

This is a well written post, yummy foods, amazing locations and beautiful lady. I like all pictures there especially this one

It shows your love for animal...the horses look great too...Thanks for sharing this with us, upped-always. More success to you my dear @sweetsssj

I agree @sweetsssj has proven beyond doubt that quality surpasses quantity...she takes out time to furnish us with amazing contents as you rightfully indicated hence why I upvoted her post...thanks for sharing

hey charles1 so great to see you here, alive, and well, and thank you for the comment about the horses, I must say, I never interacted with them this closely before, but they seemed to really like me !

Welcome my dearest one...Oh yes am well and glad to see that you are doing great. Why wont the horses like you? you are a lovely lady. Keep steeming to more success

Couldn't resist to writing that everyone like you :)

vi1son, it's been such a long time, how are you!?

Not bad, thank you! No, I've always been around )) I'm still waiting for your visit to Steemfest xD

Still waiting for Steemfest to be somewhere accessible!

Т_Т You force me to go to China xD. Or move Steemfest to China(or any suggestions). I'm so upset that for a visit to almost any country need to make a visa... Such bureaucracy... Whats wrong with humanity?

I love all of your pictures @sweetsssj!

Very true @charles. She loves the horses and they love her too. The black one wants to kiss her.

Nice post .....Thanks

Very beautifully picturised with some of the mind blowing picture of caves. I loved these caves. Loop was perfect and you looked pretty as usual. Good job buddy.

thank you honeychum!

You are welcome buddy. :)

Great dlive


Looks great!

Wonderful pics @sweetssj

What an amazing architecture, and yet again another breathtaking post! Just curious, are you part Turkish? I love that you are posting about Turkey so much. I would like to visit there again someday and you are already giving great insight on where I might go :)

hi generation! Haha that's a question I've never been asked before.. But given how much I write about Turkey, probably a reasonable one! I am actually fully Chinese, I just write about Turkey a lot because it's the place I spent a lot of time at before and I feel like it deserves thorough blogs about it for all the internet to see!

Thank you for your response, you are amazing! Turkey is lucky to have you advertise for them :D

By far, this is one of the highest quality blog posts on Steemit! Thank you again for the time and attention you give to the details of these posts! Do you have help or do you do it all yourself? Great post! :-)

A rocky place!

Incredible stunning view! What a wonderful experience to stay in the caves! Thanks for your amazing sharing as usual! @sweetsssj 😘

my pleasure floatinglin! :)

Great blog post and photos @sweetsssj. Unfortunately, I am unable to view your DLive video for some reason. Internet can be a pain in China lol. The food you show in Turkey always gets me salivating and eager to visit this country.

What program do you use to edit your photos? Do you shoot RAW?

Thanks again!

Hi kenanqhd, i know the problem since I'm in China too! The VPNs are not so good now.. but usually it works after a while.. I actually use my osmo mobile and my iphone to shoot videos. I haven't got to the point where I'm shooting raw or with some fancy video equipment (yet) but I might look into it!

@sweetsssj I am so amazed of what you are sharing on your blog, I like travelling a lot too, and I hope visiting the beautiful places you have visited. By the way, I made a little surprise for you on my blog I hope you like it.

So many great pictures and the food looks really good too, wow I really would love to visit this place.

definitely put it on your bucket list!

An useful knowledge about turkey and something in it, include your performance @sweetsssj.

safran, thank you as always!

i love seeing and reading all these indepth posts about Cappaddocia that you are making!! such an incredibly beautiful place and im dying to go there! its literally in the top 3 places in the world i want to visit - the balloons, the breathtaking landscape that looks like another planet, the amazing culture of turkey! and now that im seeing your posts im seeing i will need much more time than i ever expected just to visit cappadoccia ! i missed it on my first trip as i had only a short time and stayed to tour istanbul. but Cappadoccia is high on my list! and i made a wonderful friend in Istanbul who is a fellow female motorcyclist (she took me on rides all around the city of Istanbul!) and she said if i come to visit again maybe we will ride to Cappadoccia! Which would be amazingggggggg!!! Cant wait for it to happen :)

i'm so happy you're getting a lot of enjoyment from these posts, Cappaddocia was one of the first and last places I wanted to visit in Turkey, there is so much more to it than the Balloons which obviously, everybody already knows about, so I've been focusing on the other good aspects of it before that! :)

As for your own trip, i'm sure you will do the careful planning and perhaps soak up some of the ideas from my blogs for your own personalised trip. I'm sure you when you end up visiting, it will be every bit amazing as you hoped!

i am soaking up so much! keep the beautifully descriptive cappadoccia-posts coming ! :)

amaizing, nice photography
Good post dear @sweetsssj
I upvote and resteem

thanks my dear!

You are welcome my dear @sweetsssj
dear if you have time, please visit my blog

This post has received a 2.85 % upvote from @drotto thanks to: @hectorjoachim.

hello dear @sweetsssj, first of all I want to congratulate you for your great work, I love your glasses and your beautiful tan, that place looks fabulous, those immense rocks and mountains worthy of an epic movie, fantastic video, Cappadocia in Turskish Anatollyan is a surprising place to discover and explore, i loved your pics with the horses, thank very much for all your great adventures, I invite you to take a look at my last post, I created my first video on Dtube and I would like to know your opinion on my funny adventure, my best wishes for you and good start week, kisses and hugs for you dear. Cheers ❤️😍😘🌷

hi hector, i will come take a look, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, always appreciate your support!

Wow, what an amazing trip, @sweetsssj :) The video in the beginning and reading through all this and the pics make it as if being there myself. How awesome! Thanks so much for sharing such an wonderful glimpse into and around Cappadocia. One day I'll definitely have to visit there.


So nice trav, thanks for your sharing to us, i like it and have upvote and resteem your post to more than 1450 my follower, greeting friendship from me @abialfatih in aceh indonesia

you're welcome dear, and thank you for the support!

Welcome back with super awesome post @sweetsssj God always bless you take good care over there,😘

will do saqib, thank you!

she : Travel with me.
me: Mom says don't travel with strangers.

We were there two years ago. Absolutely stunning place, like something out of a movie (Pitch Black, if you want to be sci-fi/horror about it). I would recommend doing a bit "off-roading": Selime Monastery can get very busy, whereas there are amazing, seldom-visited cave settlements throughout the region, particularly around Urgup and (my favourite), Mustafapaşa. Good hiking shoes are a must though! As is the hot air ballooning.




wonderful picture and wonderful recommendations, I will reserve these for my next visit :)

Not sure why all the pictures didn't upload first time. Here are a couple more from balloons. Book to go early in your holiday -- they don't always fly if the wind is strong or weather grey, but they will re-book you for the next day and the next until you get up, up and away!

Glad to See you agin @sweetsssj
As always you’re looking fabulous and the place is Just Wowwww
I wish to Visit there someday
Thanks for sharing your experience with us

hi aliza, nice to see you again as well, hope it's a frequent thing ^^ :)

After reading your article, it makes me have ever been to the place. Thank for your posting the interesting article

The world is abounding with beauty. You are giving us a demonstration. @sweetsssj

the world certainly has abundant beauty, it will be challenge to try seek it all out in a lifetime, but i'm up for a challenge!

Nice post TURKEY !

Wow your post makes me want to travel there! The pictures you took looks amazing! A motivation to travel there!

hopefully you'll get the opportunity very soon!

Very nice post and great article..



真开眼界,感谢姐姐分享 :)欢迎姐姐有空来小博逛逛。。

wowwww, what a beautiful place. I wish to go there someday as I do travel blogs to :) you are such an inspiration.

hi creslyn, looking forward to seeing your blogs!

thank you so much :D I did post some if you want to check :D more power to you

Amazing structures and photos! What kind of camera do you use?

Please UpVote All post me, @luckm4nn
I UpVote back your post. Thank's

you make everything seem the like best place on earth to visit!

thanks for sharing. fantastic !

amazing! great photos.

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