Ürgüp/Nevşehir Province, Turkey

Diary Of A Project Manager In Turkey Take 10

When I first looked at the programme for today I rolled my eyes. More fairy chimney and another cave hotel. Isn't it kid of scary how quickly you can start to take things for granted? Like when I get home I will long to drink tea looking at beautiful landscapes when all I see from my window is a car park. I do think though in our hearts we know this and every day when I actually get to the sites I am so amazed by the beauty of the views. It truly is breathtaking and the team all talk about how it almost doesn't look real like a green screen. I wish I had been able to afford the balloon ride as I keep seeing them pop up from the valley. I was a little annoyed that today we were driving by some valleys and 3 balloons started to ever so slowly rise from them. We shouted for the driver to stop so we could try and capture it but the driver continued on and ignored us. I do think our Turkish team do not understand the work that goes into filming sometimes as they seem to get impatient with us and how long it can take to get the footage we want. Hopefully we will be able to teach them a little in return for learning about their culture.

We started the day back at the fairy chimneys where some of the guys got the chance to ride camels. One of our guides filled us in the in amazing history of the area. This is the only place where the chimney are made up of multiple bodies and one head or multiple heads and one body. According to history centuries ago a priest had carved a church inside one. In this time it had been forbidden to be a christian and so for people who wanted to follow the religion they had to hide and worship in secret.

One team decided to vox pops vendors and tourists about their experience. The other team wanted to do a presenter piece to the camera. A lot of the tourists didn't want to be interviewed but were curious about what we were doing. The team managed to track some down and ask them some questions about their experience.

The other team seemed to struggle a bit today as I had deliberately put a group of strong characters together. I wanted to give them the experience of learning to work with difficult people and making sure that this can be done in a smooth way. Some handled it better than others but in team meetings they all feel that it is a huge learning curve for them. A massive part of filming is learning to work with clashing personalities in the most stressful environments. They did manage to capture some great footage even squeezing in some preparation of the most amazing orange juice. The juice is made of 6 different oranges i am craving it now. So sweet and lovely. One of the girls who had been feeling a little run down said she felt like it brought her back to life.

The cave hotel we saw today had been my favourite. You do have to walk up a steep rocky almost dangerous path to get to fairyland hotel but when you do get to the top if the steps haven't taken your breath away the view will. In all the trip I think I learnt the most today. One of the owners gave me a real humble experience in sharing so much with me. He spent a lot of time showing me pictures, videos and telling me a lot about the history of the development of the village. He also showed me the ruins of an old church. The path was very dangerous but you could tell it was once a beautiful church. This guy really knows his history. He told me about how in 1965 due to the government not looking after the church some of the rocks fell onto the village below killing a mother and 2 children. The villagers not knowing the historical significance of the church took the rocks and used them to build in the village. Despite his complaints the local authorities continues to ignores his request for St Johns Baptist church to be restored and looked after.

I also learnt a lot about the reason why the people of Cappadocia respect and love pigeons so much. The farmers used to build them houses and then use their poop as fertiliser for the vineyards. So the pigeons literally helped them keep their livelihood long before tourists.I could have spent hours learning more. He also spoke to me about the current economy and that in the villages there is a real sense of community. Nobody is homeless as people make a point of looking after each other especially by providing work so that families can have a sense of worth instead of charity. I really wish more of the world could be like that. The team interviewed him about the history and his views.

Later in the evening we went to Urgup to visit a Turkish Folk Cafe. I expected acoustic music but we were greeted with electric drum powered rhythms. It was still interesting to listen and learn more about a new style of music.


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