After the strange and fantastic hamam experience, my time in Cappadocia continued the following day with a tour of various parts of the area. We did some hiking, saw lots of panoramic views, and toured a small part of an ancient underground city. There’s a big gallery to browse, with a little more information in the captions. Enjoy, and I’ll be back soon with Part 2!
Our first stop on the outskirts of town: an old monastery.
Walking through Goreme. We hiked for a few kilometers for a panoramic view of the valley. Worth every step!
The famous rock formations of Cappadocia were developed during and after periods of intense volcanic activity.
You’ll notice little holes cut into the rock, where the inhabitants would house pigeons, a source of food and fertilizer. Lots of grapes and crops still grow in the area, and many farmers will credit their pigeons for the quality and flavor.
We stopped at a little cafe for some lemonade and rest.
Entrance to the underground city.
We only saw a very small percentage of the excavated rooms. The city is large enough to hold 20,000 people for several years.
It’s estimated that the tunnels were carved as early as 1200BC in the soft volcanic rock.
The tunnels and rooms were used by early Christians to escape invasion and persecution, first from Romans, then from Arabs.
A wine basin, where they’d smash grapes with their feet and let the juice flow out of an opening in the bottom. They’d collect the juice and store it in jars. Clearly they had their priorities straight!
Perhaps the coolest aspect of the underground city was all the various security devices, including heavy rock doors. Invading soldiers would also get caught in many traps set up within the narrow, winding passages.