CAPPADOCIA day1 and 2
Cappadocia is out of this world. Stunning, beautiful and different than anything you have ever seen before. It is a geological oddity of rock formations which were laid down 60 million years ago by the 3 surrounding volcanoes. Forces of erosion formed the incredible and unique tuff-coned Cappadocian landscape.
The history of Cappadocia is equally fascinating. Arabs, Muslims, Mongolians, Ottomans, Christians and Byzantynes ruled here. For hundreds of years men have dug into the soft but firm tuff to create dwellings, monastries, churches and underground cities. Definitely a place to put on your bucket list.
We took a bus to Uchisar, a nicely situated but more quiet village 5 km from Göreme. Uchisar is famous for its “castle”. A rock-landmark full of tunnels, caves and visible for miles around. It was used by refuges for centuries when enemy armies overtook the surrounding planes. The castle was a nice introduction for the days to come.
The next day we booked a tour to see the morning rise of the hot air balloons and afterwards visited the astonishingly underground city of Kaymakli. One of the 35! underground cities they have discovered so far. The underground caves may have first been build by the Phrygians in the 8th-7th century BC and later been expanded with chapels and inscriptions by the Christians. The city was later greatly expanded by Byzantines when it was used for protection against Arab raids. They estimate that up to 3500 people once lived here. In Kaymakli there are nearly one hundred tunnels over 4 layers, connecting the caves where families sometimes lived for longer periods of time without seeing daylight. In times of war they could stay underground for over a month. The death rate then was high due to illness and diseases and the circumstances of these people were incredible and hard to believe. It left us startled!
At first we were not so attracted to a balloon flight but after seeing them rise over this magical landscape we thought it being a once in a lifetime thing to do so we booked one for the next day…