Kaymakli, Uchisar, Love Valley and Cavisun, Cappadocia, Turkey (Two) Week 117 June 29th - 30th 2013
We first went to Ozluce to visit the underground city.

Sadly it was closed.

So we looked at the more crowded Kaymakli.

Seven levels, of which we could access four.

"We're working on it" echoed from 1978.

A millstone.
And a low passage.

Grey in the flash light, yellow in the lights provided.

And a bit low.

We think the inhabitants were pygmies.

The stone door rolls into place.
To fill the gap.
Mind your head.

My damaged hat was later repaired.

The head took a bit longer.

There's a good flow of air through the caves.

Provided by the ventilation shaft.

We couldn't see the bottom.

Or the top.

But the strong flow of fresh air was welcome.

We didn't try the steps.

Like many before us, no doubt, we are not quite sure how it all works.

Grain storage rooms

Wine storage.

And probably other foodstuffs..


Maybe "main street".

The steps are concrete.

But such is the incline there were probably always steps.

We followed the red arrows down.

And the blue arrows up.

Part of the marketing approach of the would be guides was to attempt to instill some fear of becoming lost in the labyrinth.

Not a problem. Just follow a guided party and they must emerge sometime.

Another "roller door".

Faallen out of its guides.

There wasn't much information available. It appears the cities were used as refuges by early Christians, before the religion was accepted. We aren't sure to what extent people lived permanently underground or simply used it as a refuge when the village above was threatened.

The threat was mostly from the Romans. The original Persian Empire had been replaced by Alexander the Great and then the Roman Empire. 

The Greek-Byzantine population mostly moved to the coast after around 1071 as the Seljuk and Ottoman Turkish influence grew.

Did we mention the gauntlet of souvenir shops at the entrance.

At least they were all playing the same music and were relatively hassle and hussle free.

We have become a little tired of "car park attendants" who turn up as we are leaving to demand payment. There are typically no signs of charges.

We drove back through Uchesir.

"The Castle".

Cave dwellings.
And narrow streets as we missed the by-pass.
We stopped by the roadside (from Uchesir to Goreme) for happy snaps of Pigeon Valley.
Each stopping place claimed to have the best panorama.

I guess it was more attractive to us than the endless cups of tea we were offered by the frustrated restaurateurs

Our impression is that business is slow. Most tourists seem to be captive within their tour groups, or at the coast

But we didn't tire of the landscape.
Peter and Margaret had met Mehmet before we arrived.

We drove a short distance to Cavisun to meet him.

And watch the sunset from the ridge overlooking the village.

Even better than previous sunsets.
Almost 360 degree views.
To finish off the day,  or finish off us, Mehmet arrived with a bottle of cold wine and five glasses.
So we photographed the chimneys again.
And drank some wine.

Mehmet pointed out the cave homes of his ancestors and the one in which he was born.

The top of the hill was a cemetery. Similar holes cut in the stone to those we saw in the Goreme church entrances.

Mehmet operates the Cavusin Gift Shop.

As well as building an hotel, helping with his father's farm, helping move bees, being stung by bee and reacting allergically, checking on building progress of house for sons, and being generally a busy person.

We went food shopping then to father's farm for bbq. Lights fed from an inverter in the car.

He also helped us a lot. Including internet.

As our way out had been blocked earlier by broken trailer we camped outside the shop.

I rushed up to our previous night's eyrie to watch the balloons (again).

And a quick look in the church.

The mosque at the bottom of the hill is "for tourists"/

The "real mosque" is deeper in the village.

Mehmet drove us to Uchisar.

We climbed to the top of the (cave) castle.

Unfortunately all the internal passages and rooms were inaccessible.

The top was again cemetery.

Nevsehir in the distance to the west.

And a look at the narrow streets we drove along (while missing the by-pass) the previous day.
Some old. Some renovated. Some restored. Some new.

The corbels for the first floor were distinctive.

In Cappadocia there are cave houses, arch houses, and ,,, houses.

Then the long walk through Love Valley (proper name Bagildere) back to Cavisun.
A slow start to the scenery.


But slowly the eroded columns emerged.
And the valley floor tunnels.

We still think they are for water.

The pigeon lofts and living quarters we've seen show evidence of how they have been carved.

The churches have smooth walls.

The tunnels look hewn then water eroded to various levels.

A bit zig-zaggy.
We'll leave it to one's imagination why its named Love Valley.

Apart from that, a ridge eroded to form a line.

All a bit hot (about 35 degrees C).

Even for a lizard.

Chimneys of all sizes.
And chunkier bits.

After about 3 hours we reached Cavisun.

For more tea provided by Mehmet.

We've come to like apple tea.

Mustafapasa, Cappadocia,Turkey (Three) Week 118 July 1st 2013

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