Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turkey Travelogue - May 29th: Goreme & Derinkuyu

We woke up to a light breakfast at the hotel. And then loaded up once again and drove into Goreme (a place I was pretty sure I had just seen in a National Geographic Magazine a few months prior.)

The town was amazing! People lived in caves! 

Yes, that is a "For Sale" sign.  Anyone want to move to Goreme?
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It comes with a garage.
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And there were cave hotels as well. 
I seriously want to return and stay here....
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...... or here (Anatolian Houses).
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 We also saw carpet makers at the Gallery of Cappadocia.
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After walking through town we got back in the van and drove on to the Goreme Open Air Museum.
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Compared to Zelve, Goreme has more elaborate and finer cut rock rooms and chapels. As a result, the access to Goreme is a bit more limited. That probably had something to do with my preference for Zelve. 

While in the Chapel of St. Basil at Goreme, my son lost his first tooth.  

Go here to find out information about the Chapel of St. Basil as well as Goreme's other cave churches. 

Here you can see the entrance and open nave of one of the churches followed by details in some of the other chapels.
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We left Goreme and stopped mid-afternoon for a late lunch. Then we drove about 40 minutes south to the Underground City of Derinkuyu.  

Derinkuyu is a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms some of which are narrow and low. Again I felt like an explorer investigating an old archaeological site. This underground town has been around for a very long time. Many think the first rooms and tunnels were built by the Hittites before the time of Christ or the common era and then added to over the centuries by conquering civilizations.  
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The round doors were to be rolled into place when the current residents were under attack.
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After this, we headed back to Ankara, which was about a 4 1/2 hour drive. Back in Ankara, we were taken directly across town to one of our friends houses where we had a lovely meal prepared for us by the Eren family. Somehow our foursome made it back to Vildan and Levent's, though at the moment I can't remember the details of how we got there.

After recounting the events of this tremendous day, I wonder if the world stood still. I'm not sure how we squeezed it all in, but it is a day I am very thankful for experiencing. 

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