Friday, September 16th, 2016:
That day, we wanted to take the green tour, which included the underground city of Derinkuyu as one of the must-sees on my Cappadocia list, Ihlara Valley, and the small pigeon valley which was also on my to-see list.
Although we didn’t fly that day, our morning started pretty early anyway, at around 6.30, so that we could watch the hot air balloons from our hotel’s rooftop this time. It is a different feeling to watch it from the ground than from the air. It’s when you get one of those feelings of realizing how surprisingly small you are, and how simple things can make you feel the happiest.
Some of these photos were taken with my phone, but they still turned out to be amazing. I just was left in awe the second day in a row. Seeing and hearing the sounds of the balloon fire from your bed in the early morning is one of the best things to wake up to. It was weird seeing the workers at the hotel unimpressed :’D
Anyway, after waving the last balloon goodbye (I mean it literally: few balloons came so close we could see the people in there), we went downstairs to have breakfast.
Again, we were picked up in front of our hotel at around 8 am, so we still had plenty of time to get ready.
Our trip to the underwater city began and on the bus ride there I met a girl from China, Flora. We started chatting the whole bus ride through and became quite good friends on that trip. Our guide was very nice as well and he knew so many things about Cappadocia, the Byzantine and Ottoman history, it was quite impressive. These things are really nice about a booked tour.
When we arrived at the underground city, our tour guide first told us that people with sicknesses like Asthma or a bad circulation system should think about going in twice. I got nervous since I do have Asthma, but I really wanted to see the underground city. I did have my asthma spray with me and I could easily get outside if I felt sick after the first part of our tour. I took some photos during our visit there but it was hard to take photos in the dark, especially when you are feeling so out of breath after walking up and down the tiny, steep stairs.
And for your information, the air in the underground was not bad at all, quite the opposite. It was pretty good. It had a very good air circulation system that the christian refugees back in the days invented.
The visit in the underground city didn’t last too long. It was a good amount of time in my opinion. We saw everything and walked a lot. It was definitely worth coming here.
Once again we found ourselves on the bus, on the way to Ihlara Valley. I haven’t heard of this place before coming to Cappadocia, but since it was part of the green tour, I just gave it a try, and it was pretty worth it. More beautiful than the Open Air Museum of Göreme. This place had everything, from a small flowing river to the typical fairy chimneys surround the valley, it was like a fantasy world that someone like Peter Jackson could have created. We started with a lunch break before entering the valley and the food was quite delicious.
The valley was the biggest we had visited in Cappadocia, and it probably is one of the biggest ones there.
As you can see, the weather was changing quite a lot, so I was taking off and on several clothes :’D We were lagging behind from taking too many photos, but we soon found the others and after walking a few more minutes we took a tea break in the cutest place ever:
I could have stayed here for the rest of the day, but unfortunately, our break was very short and we had to get going soon again.
Our next stop was the Selimiye Monastery, an open air cave monastery which was on the way to pigeon valley. We stopped there for like an hour and had free time to climb around, take photos and explore the cave house dwellings. This place had the most interesting house dwellings I have seen on that trip. Here are some pictures:
Climbing here was not as easy as I first imagined, but it was a lot of fun. After this station, we still had the pigeon valley on our route, and that place was also a highlight. It was as small as love valley, but in my opinion so much more beautiful.
There was also a small box with seeds that you could feed to the pigeons for a little price of 1 Lira. Of course I did that :’D
The pigeons here seem to look healthier than the ones I am used to in Germany. I like how tourism makes the pigeons be healthy and well-fed.
Anyway, the sun was about to set, so we took a last group picture and went back to the minibus. Unfortunately, I don’t have the group picture, but here are some nice snapshots of the sunset.
The last hours of our trip also meant saying goodbye to my dear friend. I wouldn’t see her again the next day because we were leaving the next day.
Back at the hotel we rested a bit and soon went out to eat at topdeck restaurant that we booked a table at, by the recommendation of our hotel’s receptionist. When we entered the small but cozy and good-smelling restaurant, we immediately got a homy-feeling. And after seeing the traditional interior design with the ground-tables and cushions, I fell in love with the place, no question.
The menu didn’t have many dishes on it, but that was a good sign for being a qualitative restaurant that only specializes on certain dishes and cooks everything from fresh ingredients. The food might not look like anything special, but it really tasted amazing, like something my mom could have cooked.
We had a cozy, great last meal that evening and when we finished, we slowly walked back to our hostel, stopping at some shops on the way, before saying goodbye to this beautiful place.
At the hostel, we had a small late night chat with the hostel owners. All of them were young men and so nice and hospitable. They kept on offering us sunflower seeds and sweet pastry. That’s something you will notice about turkey: the hospitability of hotel and restaurant employees.
I think we couldn’t have had a better last day at Göreme, especially after the highlight of the balloon flight the day before.
I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on my travel rants from Cappadocia.
For the next post you can expect a holiday guide for Cesme, surfer’s paradise of the aegean sea.