Merhaba from Tokat

Merhaba from Tokat

 

The Cappadocia region is fascinating.  It is a limestone cave region where the inhabitants have incorporated the caves into their more modern dwellings.  They also had undergound caves where they would retreat to when invaders arrived.  We stayed in a quiet town that was less touristy than most (Mustafapasha).  The family that owned the hotel had renovated it themselves producing a nice hotel complete with some “cave rooms” where you could stay in rooms at the base of the limestone rock that supported the main part of the home/hotel.  These were modern rooms that they had cleaned the rubble out of during renovation.

 

Iris caucasia susp. turcica has been reported from this region so we looked in a few likely habitats for it.  It is a priority on this trip but we are more likely to find it east of here.

 

Last night we stayed in Bogazkale on the eastern edge of Cappadocia.  This is where the Hittites were centered and we could view the capital of their empire (Hattusa) from our hotel.  There are extensive ruins here and we decided to visit the small temple area at Yazilikaya before leaving town.  This is a site of rock carvings that portray the gods and goddesses of this people.  It was a good choice as there was only one other couple there and it was impressive.  We were however besieged with men peddling souvenirs in the parking lot as we left.  They are very persistent and Clyde has trouble extricating himself.  I politely smile while saying no and backing up.  As all of you who know Clyde would guess, we left with a rock carving.

 

We drove on to Tokat stopping to search likely sites mostly to take a break from driving.  The road traveled through agricultural lands and small villages.  Here we would see couples with one to six cows that they were grazing along the edges of fields.  Unlike most areas we have visited there were no herds of sheep or goats.  We arrived at Gaziosmanpasha University in early afternoon where Erdogan was busily working with students on their semester projects.  We discussed our final itinerary with Erdogan who is unfortunately too busy to accompany us.  He helped me outline a route and potential sites for our last few days in Turkey.  He wants us to stay in Tokat tomorrow and visit with his family tomorrow afternoon and evening.

 

The following three days will be hectic as we travel east to Erzurum to search for three species, then southwest to Kemaliye to search for two species and finally on to Kayseri to return the car and fly to Istanbul.

 

 

Gule gule,

 

Carol

5/3/06