Saturday, April 17, 2010

TURKEY - CAPPADOCIA






After nine days in Turkey, six of them in Istanbul, I must admit that Istanbul has surprised me. Istanbul is a really lively and warm city with an special charm. There are always a lot of people walking along its streets, which made me feel quite comfortable.

And the other 3 days we visited Cappadocia, a region of central Anatolia, where nature has created really amazing shapes. It's really worth walking between this strange shapes and enjoying the other secrets this region hides.


You can see more pictures of these days I spent in Istanbul and Cappadocia clicking on the links below:


First day in Istanbul
- The three days we spent in Cappadocia

After an intense day in Istanbul visiting Sultanahmet, we got up early to catch a flight to Cappadocia. We spent three nice days in this amazing region of Turkey, where nature has created really strange shapes and we really enjoyed the hospitality of its inhabitants.



Typical landscape in Cappadocia (Rose Valley)


Day 1 visits:

  • Uchiçar *
  • Göreme *
  • Landscapes beetwen Uchiçar and Göreme
Day 2 visits:

  • Göreme Open-Air Museum *
  • Nazar Church and surroundings
Day 3 visits:

  • Rose Valley *
  • Monks Valley *
  • Pottery demonstration in Avanos
  • Kaymakly underground city *
* Strongly recommended

5th April 2010:
Cappadocia Day 1


This picture shows one of the most amazing things we saw in our first day in Cappadocia: The Castle of Uchiçar

Uchiçar


As soon as we arrived at Uchiçar, we decided to have lunch in a small restaurant two big delicious pides. Besides our meal was really cheap: two huge pides and two cokes for only 12 turkish liras (6 euros)

Inside the castle of Uchiçar in Cappadocia, where people lived long time ago


The landscape of Cappadocia from the top of the castle was really breathtaking, with a privileged view of the Mount Erciyes. This volcano is the responsible for the strange shapes and all the caves we could admire in Cappadocia

Another fantastic view of Cappadocia from the Uchiçar castle


We followed one of this paths to reach the road which led us to Göreme


Before starting our descent we took another picture of the castle of Uchiçar, probably one of the most imposing view points of Cappadocia


The soil was truly slippery, so we had to went down quite carefully


But we went down between the strange shapes which attract us to Cappadocia, so we enjoyed a lot walking along this paths


Going from Uchiçar to Göreme


This road led us to Göreme, but in this picture it seems that this road would lead us to the unknow

This is the view of Uchiçar with its imposing castle under a lovely afternoon in Cappadocia


We could see more views of this typical shapes of Cappadocia with the Mount Erciyes as a privileged observer

With this spectacular landscape I enjoyed a lot taking pictures :)


Göreme


And before reaching Göreme 3km and almost 2 hours after, we enjoyed this view of Göreme with an interesting mix of houses and fairy chimneys




Our hotel in Göreme


And we ended our first day in Cappadocia with a succulent dinner in a cozy restaurant where the waiters were really kind


6th April 2010: Cappadocia Day 2


A view of Göreme from the terrace of our hotel. What a pity that the temperature wasn't warm enough to have breakfast here


Our room, a cave room, was actually inside a fairy chimney :)

A picture with our hotel in the background


And one last picture before going to the Göreme open-air museum, one of the main attractions in Cappadocia


Before reaching the museum, we saw more interesting shapes as a result of the erosion


Göreme Open-Air Museum


Cappadocia is already ready for tourism, with a lot of shops to buy souvenirs and restaurants and the Göreme Open-Air Museum isn't an exception at all

Inside the Göreme Open-Air Museum we could visit some wonderful churches dug in rock


In fact this museum was actually a monastery and this picture shows a refectory


Overall view of this open-air museum


Having Lunch in Göreme


This table cloth shows some Cappadocia can offer: Fairy chimneys, Whirstling dervishes, Balloons, beautiful horses

A typical turkish dish: chicken with rice and vegetables


Nazar Church and Surroundings


After having lunch we went for a walk in the afternoon and we saw this church. Immediately the guide of this church insisted us to come in but when we saw that the ticket price was of 8 turkish liras per person (4 €) we told him that it was too much. Then he offered two tickets for 4€ (half price) we agreed and enjoyed the visit

We saw more fairy chimneys during our evening walk


Göreme


Cars in Göreme were a bit old-fashioned


In this restaurant we ate the day before and we would repeat that day because we really enjoyed our meal. This restaurant was next to a Roman temple dug in this rock
(Kale Terrassse Restaurant, Roma Kalesi Yani, Müze Caddesi, Göreme, Phone: 0384 271 28 08))


7th April 2010: Cappadocia Day 3


While we were waiting for other people who were going to do the tour with us, we took a picture of this lovely day


Rose Valley



Here, in this view point, we started our tour with a hike in Rose Valley. We were a group of 7 people and we had a nice guide the landscape was fantastic and really peaceful. I only heard the whisper of the morning wind. We were lucky because it wasn't hot at all. The temperature was perfect for hiking


Our guide was explaining some interesting feature of this environment in Rose Valley


Ploughing in Rose Valley

The colour slightly pink of rocks give its name to this valley. The holes were made by pigeons to build its nests

The environment of this valley was really peaceful and I felt quite well walking along its paths

We had walked for one hour following this small river when I took this picture


I really like this picture because it shows with incredible faithfulness the strength and beauty of landscapes in Cappadocia

This man was ploughing his land when he saw me taking a picture. Then he posed willingly and said goodbye with a smile when I left

Here we were about finishing our hike in Rose Valley. We had been walking for almost two hours enjoying the fabulous landscapes of this area of Cappadocia

The fairy chimneys was one of this fantastic and unusual sceneries we could see in Cappadocia

This remains were the ancient town of Çavusin. Here inhabitants of this small town dag its cave dwelling. Turkish government forbad this kind of constructions and built new houses for its owners


Monks Valley




After few minutes of route in coach, we reached Monks Valley, where we saw this typical mushrooms in Cappadocia. The difference between mushroms and fairy chimneys is that fairy chimneys have lost the dark and harder stone of their top

Few drops of rain didn't avoid that we took some pictures of this original shapes of Cappadocia


A closer view of these mushrooms. At the end, erosion will make fall the upper stone of this shapes


Pottery Demonstration in Avanos


After Rose Valley and Monks Valley, our following visit led us to a pottery in Avanos

There were quite beautiful, and a bit expensive, vases and other pieces of pottery

Here you can see the shop where we were invited to look the pieces of pottery they sold

Colourful and decorated pieces of pottery


Although we had wanted to buy some of this pieces of pottery, its fragile look would have made quite difficult its transport during our trip


Driving to Kaymakly



After enjoying a delicious meal in Göreme, we drove to Kaymakli, one of the most popular underground cities of Cappadocia



Kaymakly Underground City


Underground cities is one of the most astonishing things I saw in Cappadocia. Its narrow and low corridors lead you to one floor to another almost kneeling down

This circular stone was the door of this underground city and only it could easily moved from inside the city

This is one of the corridors I spoke about before


Göreme


Once our tour finished we went for our last walk around Göreme before coming back to Istanbul that very evening. I like a lot this picture because it shows the rural and peaceful environment of Göreme and one of those strange shapes that nature has created in this amazing region which is Cappadocia


After three spectacular days in Cappadocia, we came back to Istanbul to keep discovering this lively city. Topkapi Palace was waiting for us :). Besides, clicking on the next link you will find all the interesting places in Istanbul and Cappadocia we visited during this trip.


Other great cities and countries I have visited are:



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