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Ballica Cave



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 16th, 2008, 06:06 AM posted to rec.travel.budget.backpack,rec.travel.europe,soc.culture.turkish,rec.travel.asia
T.R.H.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Ballica Cave

[See more on this subject by visiting the pages
selected for you by Anita Donohoe:
http://turkradio.us/k/ballica/ ]

x0x Ballica Cave

By FIRAT ULGUR

Ballica Cave is a subterranean monument that draws
its guests ever deeper. At the same time, it is
symbolic of the victory won by curiosity over
fear.

I still remember the look of astonishment on the
face of a friend, years ago, when he complained of
a fear of darkness and I asked him, "Why don't you
try going inside caves?" In a voice full of
anxiety he answered, "What business do I have in
those horrible caves? That's where vampire bats
suck your blood!" I realized then that my friend
wasn't afraid of the dark alone. I thought of this
friend once more in the `Magnificent Gallery' of
Ballica Cave, as beneath the stalactites which had
taken millennia to form I gazed at the
extraordinary natural `architecture' of the
ceiling. And I thought, "If he's ever been through
Tokat and had the courage to enter Ballica Cave,
there won't be a trace left of that fear of the
dark!" Who knows, perhaps Caesar's famous words,
supposedly uttered in Tokat's county of Zile--"I
came, I saw, I conquered"--were changed by my
friend on exiting the cave to "I came, I saw, and
I was not afraid." Indeed, this mysterious
labyrinth has a dreamlike effect that not only
expunges fear, but at the same time takes away the
feeling of reality as it distances you from the
earth. Ballica Cave seems to be an enchanted
staircase buried underground, one that goes on
forever.

But let's start with the first step, that is, with
how one can reach this geological wonder.

YOU MUST LEAVE THE ROAD

The cave is in Tokat's county of Pazar, which
starting in the 12th century provided lodgings for
the caravans travelling from Anatolia to the Black
Sea. As evening fell on the earth, the weary
camels would slump down to rest in the courtyard
of the Mahperi Hatun Caravanserai.

This town was the last stop before climbing the
Ziganas, while the witnesses to the journey were
the mountains and a river, the Yesilirmak. This
river runs quietly beside you as you drive along
the Tokat-Turhal highway, yielding no slightest
clue as to what lies in the past or underground.
It knows how to open a path for itself by
patiently wearing away the rocks, but most
certainly it has heard the praises of the cave
sung by the subterranean rivers.

Lulled by the calm image of the earth in the
shadow of the willows that bend down to the water,
you may miss the yellow `Ballica' sign at the 23rd
kilometer, or see it and fail to turn, in which
case you will live on unaware of a masterpiece of
nature.

But if you leave the road--and isn't it the first
article of the true traveller's constitution that
"To see extraordinary beauty one must leave the
road"?--you will reach Ballica in the county of
Pazar and think to yourself, "What's a cave doing
so high up?" Indeed, at 40 meters above the valley
bed of Inderesi Creek, the cave lies 1,085 meters
above sea level. When you first enter the mouth of
the cave you will feel nothing special, for it
starts with a small gallery. But as you attempt to
accustom yourself to the humidity and reach the
`Hall of Pools,' you will begin to realize that
you are walking through an underground monument.
In this section the absolute humidity is low while
the temperature is higher than elsewhere in the
cave, something which has caused the stalactites
to peel in scales. The hall is two to three meters
high, and the lamps which have been embedded in
the darkness begin to illuminate sights which
engender a mixture of shuddering and wonder. It is
a fact that in Ballica, as in all splendid caves,
mystery, fear--I apologize to my friend!--and
beauty join hands. Fear is felt first, but it
turns to mystery, which then is quickly replaced
by awe.

A SUBTERRANEAN RAINBOW

After the `Hall of Pools' you are greeted by a
forest of stalactites and stalagmites. In a wild
variety of colors from red to milky white, these
formations are ranged on the floor and ceiling in
the layers of yellow of limonite, and the blues
and greens of copper-based azurite and malachite.
As if escorted by a subterranean rainbow, you move
on to the north galleries. One of these is the
Fossil Hall, where at the moment thousands of bats
hibernate, hanging upside-down from the ceiling.

In this hall an unusual underground geography is
created by spaghetti-like stalactites, cave roses
and cave needles, stalagmite pools full of water.
The Hall of Great Stalactites and Stalagmites, on
the other hand, is home to mushroom rocks. Here
20-meter-deep wells, like dark mouths, lead to the
lower levels of the cave, where a new voyage from
gallery to gallery awaits you, toward the Hall of
Collapse and the Magnificent Gallery.

AS FREUD MIGHT HAVE SEEN IT

From the mouth of the cave to its end there is an
altitude difference of 94 meters. In the
Magnificent Gallery, carbonate-rich water dripping
from the ceiling collects in puddles before
turning into stalactites and stalagmites, thus
creating horizontal formations. When light is shed
on them they look like spotted, honey-colored
marble, and are set off by structures that
resemble faces and hands to give you the feeling
that you are doing a jigsaw puzzle in stone. The
Hall of Columns, meanwhile, is the `youngest' part
of the cave, with a floor that boasts stalagmites
reminiscent of flags and curtains, while the
stalactites that look like bulbs and massive
pillars are not to be scoffed at. If the father of
psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, had been to Ballica
Cave, I don't know whether he would have enjoyed
the Tokat kebab and cokelek cheese, but I am
certain that he would have described the cave as
"a fine subterranean womb." For in his works he
said that those who dream they are in caves "wish
to return to the mother's womb." Let's leave the
psychoanalysts to decide whether he was right as
we wind up with one final thought: A while after
emerging from a visit to Ballica Cave, don't be
surprised if you are gripped by the desire to go
back in again. This is the triumph of curiosity
over fear, and the starting point for that effort
to understand the universe which we call science.

--------------------------------------
  #2  
Old August 19th, 2008, 05:19 PM posted to rec.travel.budget.backpack,rec.travel.europe,soc.culture.turkish,rec.travel.asia
Runge12
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 474
Default Ballica Cave why crosspost that stuff ? Trying to be recognized ?


"T.R.H." a écrit dans le message de
...
[See more on this subject by visiting the pages
selected for you by Anita Donohoe:
http://turkradio.us/k/ballica/ ]

x0x Ballica Cave

By FIRAT ULGUR

Ballica Cave is a subterranean monument that draws
its guests ever deeper. At the same time, it is
symbolic of the victory won by curiosity over
fear.

I still remember the look of astonishment on the
face of a friend, years ago, when he complained of
a fear of darkness and I asked him, "Why don't you
try going inside caves?" In a voice full of
anxiety he answered, "What business do I have in
those horrible caves? That's where vampire bats
suck your blood!" I realized then that my friend
wasn't afraid of the dark alone. I thought of this
friend once more in the `Magnificent Gallery' of
Ballica Cave, as beneath the stalactites which had
taken millennia to form I gazed at the
extraordinary natural `architecture' of the
ceiling. And I thought, "If he's ever been through
Tokat and had the courage to enter Ballica Cave,
there won't be a trace left of that fear of the
dark!" Who knows, perhaps Caesar's famous words,
supposedly uttered in Tokat's county of Zile--"I
came, I saw, I conquered"--were changed by my
friend on exiting the cave to "I came, I saw, and
I was not afraid." Indeed, this mysterious
labyrinth has a dreamlike effect that not only
expunges fear, but at the same time takes away the
feeling of reality as it distances you from the
earth. Ballica Cave seems to be an enchanted
staircase buried underground, one that goes on
forever.

But let's start with the first step, that is, with
how one can reach this geological wonder.

YOU MUST LEAVE THE ROAD

The cave is in Tokat's county of Pazar, which
starting in the 12th century provided lodgings for
the caravans travelling from Anatolia to the Black
Sea. As evening fell on the earth, the weary
camels would slump down to rest in the courtyard
of the Mahperi Hatun Caravanserai.

This town was the last stop before climbing the
Ziganas, while the witnesses to the journey were
the mountains and a river, the Yesilirmak. This
river runs quietly beside you as you drive along
the Tokat-Turhal highway, yielding no slightest
clue as to what lies in the past or underground.
It knows how to open a path for itself by
patiently wearing away the rocks, but most
certainly it has heard the praises of the cave
sung by the subterranean rivers.

Lulled by the calm image of the earth in the
shadow of the willows that bend down to the water,
you may miss the yellow `Ballica' sign at the 23rd
kilometer, or see it and fail to turn, in which
case you will live on unaware of a masterpiece of
nature.

But if you leave the road--and isn't it the first
article of the true traveller's constitution that
"To see extraordinary beauty one must leave the
road"?--you will reach Ballica in the county of
Pazar and think to yourself, "What's a cave doing
so high up?" Indeed, at 40 meters above the valley
bed of Inderesi Creek, the cave lies 1,085 meters
above sea level. When you first enter the mouth of
the cave you will feel nothing special, for it
starts with a small gallery. But as you attempt to
accustom yourself to the humidity and reach the
`Hall of Pools,' you will begin to realize that
you are walking through an underground monument.
In this section the absolute humidity is low while
the temperature is higher than elsewhere in the
cave, something which has caused the stalactites
to peel in scales. The hall is two to three meters
high, and the lamps which have been embedded in
the darkness begin to illuminate sights which
engender a mixture of shuddering and wonder. It is
a fact that in Ballica, as in all splendid caves,
mystery, fear--I apologize to my friend!--and
beauty join hands. Fear is felt first, but it
turns to mystery, which then is quickly replaced
by awe.

A SUBTERRANEAN RAINBOW

After the `Hall of Pools' you are greeted by a
forest of stalactites and stalagmites. In a wild
variety of colors from red to milky white, these
formations are ranged on the floor and ceiling in
the layers of yellow of limonite, and the blues
and greens of copper-based azurite and malachite.
As if escorted by a subterranean rainbow, you move
on to the north galleries. One of these is the
Fossil Hall, where at the moment thousands of bats
hibernate, hanging upside-down from the ceiling.

In this hall an unusual underground geography is
created by spaghetti-like stalactites, cave roses
and cave needles, stalagmite pools full of water.
The Hall of Great Stalactites and Stalagmites, on
the other hand, is home to mushroom rocks. Here
20-meter-deep wells, like dark mouths, lead to the
lower levels of the cave, where a new voyage from
gallery to gallery awaits you, toward the Hall of
Collapse and the Magnificent Gallery.

AS FREUD MIGHT HAVE SEEN IT

From the mouth of the cave to its end there is an
altitude difference of 94 meters. In the
Magnificent Gallery, carbonate-rich water dripping
from the ceiling collects in puddles before
turning into stalactites and stalagmites, thus
creating horizontal formations. When light is shed
on them they look like spotted, honey-colored
marble, and are set off by structures that
resemble faces and hands to give you the feeling
that you are doing a jigsaw puzzle in stone. The
Hall of Columns, meanwhile, is the `youngest' part
of the cave, with a floor that boasts stalagmites
reminiscent of flags and curtains, while the
stalactites that look like bulbs and massive
pillars are not to be scoffed at. If the father of
psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, had been to Ballica
Cave, I don't know whether he would have enjoyed
the Tokat kebab and cokelek cheese, but I am
certain that he would have described the cave as
"a fine subterranean womb." For in his works he
said that those who dream they are in caves "wish
to return to the mother's womb." Let's leave the
psychoanalysts to decide whether he was right as
we wind up with one final thought: A while after
emerging from a visit to Ballica Cave, don't be
surprised if you are gripped by the desire to go
back in again. This is the triumph of curiosity
over fear, and the starting point for that effort
to understand the universe which we call science.

--------------------------------------


 




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