Cappadocia Wild Horses

The name Cappadocia means “the land of beautiful”. The land has a stunning spiritual beauty that is due to its unique nature and history: tufa hills, deep ravines, fairy chimneys, rock-hewn churches, underground cities, hot-air balloons dotting the sky in the early morning hours.

Cappadocia is a magic land and flying over the valleys with balloons is maybe the best part of it, of course everybody knows about this. But what has always fascinated me are its warm colors in the morning and especially in the sunset. Even more, every time I go back, I discover something new: a hidden little village, a secret path between the rocks and little gardens of delicious apricots and mulberries in Goreme National Park, another view over the valley or another underground city, even a new cosy family restaurant – everything makes my senses feel spoiled, giving me the feeling that all these treasures are just for me. Even if it is a touristic area, I find enough silence and place to enjoy nature, history and different day lights.

This time I was there in a photo tour well organised (as he always does) by Dan Mirica. I discovered another face of Cappadoccia – “the land of wild horses” as it was famous for its horses since antique times. Me and my camera were really delighted when visiting a herd of wild horses as their run in the dust, revealing layers of a magical story. History with its magic secrets was suddenly coming alive when the horses started to run in the sunset light. As they were coming towards me, the land was shaking under me and sand clouds were rising between my camera and the sun, beautifully surprising me with their running silhouettes.

The horses are “half wild” – they are free horses living on the valley. A local photographer organised these photo session for our group. Some local “cowboys” chased them towards the photographers area. I was waiting for them lying down – so I could feel all the tremors caused by their hooves as they were running in the dust towards me. No matter how many times I see these photos, each time my senses remember that feeling again and again! I thought the horses would split their herd when they would reach me, instead they felt me from a distance, so the entire herd went towards my lateral before getting to my place.
I think this is why I always like street photography – of course this was not the case, but it is a similar feeling – everything happens so fast on the street and it is a mixture of luck meeting the subject that capture my attention in the perfect light, time and position and catch it in the exact moment.

Photo: Marian PLAINO

Text: Iulia Adela PLAINO

Cappadocia, Turkey

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