July 1

I just got back from spending two days at the Meditteranean coast wandering around Kizkalesi… how beautiful. The water was oh so very blue and warm, but man, was it hot. We drove down there through large granite mountains with tall pine trees and stopped first at the Heaven and Hell caves. The Hell cave was fenced off so you end up just looking down at a large, well.. cave while standing on a cement platform that hangs over the edge. The Heaven cave was down 400 some odd stairs, about 100 of which were muddy and slippery, people were falling all over the place. Upon entering the end of the stairs, you are in an immense, dark cave with some stalactites hanging form the celing, but that is about it. I’m not sure what I expected, but I was hoping for some sort of reward for my journey.. a cave drawing, something carved out of the walls, anything.. this was supposed to be heaven after all? So, in a bit of disappointment, I headed back up the stairs for the long haul up to the top.. it was really hot and quite the workout.

Which led us to make the executive decision to find us a shandy (the beer and sprite combo that I spoke of earlier, although this time it ended up as beer mixed with Fanta orange soda- a ‘Fandy’ we coined it) and head to the beach! We found a great hotel a little west of Kizkalesi, called the Mediterranean Resort and hit the beach. The water was the perfect temperature and the people watching was interesting. I was especially impressed by the pastry vendors who walked the beach with these huge trays on their heads, piled high. There were also many women on the beach that were wearing what I’ve heard called a burkini, which is swimwear (?) that looks like a rain jacket and pants, worn by religious muslim women to cover themselves. The burkini covers everything, and I mean everything, except for the womans face and feet. I marveled how these women could sit in the blazing sun with their kids in such attire without passing out from heat exhaustion. I was so hot, comparatively, in the shade with my swim suit on. I couldn’t help myself, I had to take some photos of them.. I will post one below. I ordered the essential beach margarita and asked for an umbrella to be put inside, just to be festive and officially be on vacation. What we actually received was more like a vodka/cranberry with straws inside.. oh well, the thought was there.

After a long hard day of sunning and swimming we went to eat some fish in a most tranquil bay, the sunset was incredible and fish caught that morning was hard to beat.. yum! So delicious!

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About Lives of Cappadocia Project

Aili Schmeltz is a contemporary visual artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA.
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