While in Cappadocia, tourists who don’t have cars have the option of joining a tour to see different sights. The two most popular tours are the red and green tours. The red tour covers a lot of sights closer to Göreme, whereas the green tour brings you further out to the Ihlara Valley as well as the underground city of Derinkuyu (both of which were the reasons for us picking this tour).
The day officially started at 10AM, after all the guests were picked up at their respective hotels. Our group consisted of two other Americans who are WFH in Turkey and Croatia, a Ukrainian who is also WFH in Istanbul, some Russians and a couple of Turks. It is interesting that we are meeting more and more Americans who have chosen to become digital nomads, and have this wonderful opportunity to travel while working.
First stop was Göreme panoramic viewpoint of the Pigeon Valley portion that we had bypassed yesterday.
After a bit of a drive, we arrived at Selime Cathedral carved out in the 8-9th century during Byzantine times.
Our third stop was my favorite, because I got to get some hiking in.
But first, we stopped by to check out one of the churches in the valley.
The best part of the hike was tasting wild blackberries along the way.
The hike was rather short as we didn’t hike the entire trail. The guide estimated that it would take us an hour, but I think we took longer because people kept stopping to take photos.
Next stop was the underground city, built by the Hittites 4000 years ago. The first 2 levels were built by them, and subsequent levels (a total of 8 levels reaching 55 meters below ground) were built over the next 1500 years by different groups of people.
The purpose of the underground city was to provide shelter against enemies as well as the elements. The subterranean homes provided a constant 8 degrees Celsius versus the minus 20 degrees Celsius above ground during the winter. It’s estimated that 5000 people used to live here.
Honestly, I don’t think I would do very well living in a subterranean city. Imagine what COVID would do to an entire community living in these conditions. Decimated.
Finally, our last stop was at the Pigeon Valley viewpoint. We got to see the “Ritz Carlton” of pigeon hotel from down below yesterday. Today we got a bird’s eye view of it.
If today’s blog is more like a pictorial, then that’s because 9 hours of touring has fried my brain, so I’m taking the short cut today.