Cappadocia Tour

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Cappadocia area is really spread out, so I decided to take a one day bus tour to see the sights. It was a wonderful day, I don't usually enjoy large organized tours but this one was very good. We left at 9:30 in the morning, and made lots of stops along the way to see various valleys, churches etc.

The main attractions were the underground city at Derinkuyu Underground City,
and the Ilhara Valley. Derinkuyu descends 8 floors underground, and about 60 metres. It was used by early Christian monks, as well as for shelter during attacks. Large stones could be rolled in front of the doors to prevent anyone outside from enterring. Inside there was a winery, church, stables... everything to sustain the community. You can walk through a large portion of it, and we went right to the very bottom level where the church was. You could very easily get lost in the maze of tunnels!

Ilhara Valley is a stunning area, we walked about 4km down the valley to a small village where we had lunch, and then our bus picked us up there. Dotted along the valley are various cave churches as well with some great frescoes. There is a creek that runs beside the path all the way through the valley, so it was a very peaceful walk.

A few stops on the way back to town, including a pottery demonstration in Avaros, which is quite famous for its pottery. Sadly I didn't think I wˇuld be able to get anything I purchased home in one piece, so I didn't buy any. There were some great pieces though!

The last day in Cappadocia I rented a scooter and did a little tour closer to town. I went to Uchisar, where there is a cave castle on a hill, which is the higgest point in the area and has a stunning view. I had dinner at one of the many restaurants in Goreme that has pottery kebabs...they literally cook your dinner in a pottery vase over the fire and then crack it open when it's done! Not something you would see at home!

Now I am off on another overnight bus, this time to Istanbul. Last stop in Turkey!!
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