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Contents / Ballica Cave

Ballıca 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 Ballıca 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 Ballıca 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

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