Turkey: Cappadocia – Goreme Open Air Museum

Just outside of Goreme is the UNESCO-listed Goreme Open Air Museum which preserves a cluster of monasteries and churches and monk abodes, all dating from the 10-12th century, when Cappadocia was the heart of the religious pilgrimage in the Byzantine empire. There are several churches here, all with elaborate frescos adorning the inside walls and ceiling. The most spectacular are Elmali Kilise (Apple Church), Yilanli Kilise (Snake Church), Karanlik Kilise (Dark Church), Tokali Kilise (Buckle Church), and Azize Barbara Sapeli (Chapel of St. Barbara). The site is packed with tourists, and it’s a bit of a money machine to squeeze as much as possible – the expensive entry charge doesn’t even cover all the churches inside, where you have to pay extra. Furthermore, no photography is allowed inside the churches (never mind that iPhone can’t possibly do any damage to the frescos and the prohibitive rules probable date back to when photo camera used chemical flashes, or early 20th century). Guards bark at you the moment you touch your phone.