The Goreme Panorama was our first stop and what a sight it was to behold the breathtaking views. Steven and I both remarked on the similarity to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah but the size and sheer number of spires, cones, etc is far greater than those at Bryce.We only had about 15 minutes to take in the sights, grab a drink of cay, i.e. strong Turkish tea served in small glass cups on a saucer and/or buy any souvenirs before being herded back on the bus.
Next up was a stop at the Derinkyu Underground City, one of 36 underground cities in the area; only 10 are now open to the public though. All the tours stop at this one though because it’s the largest and the deepest at 85m; it has 16 levels and up to 1,300 people could survive living entirely underground for up to a month at a time. It was built by the Hitites and then used by the orthodox Greeks from the 4th through the 11th centuries. It received UNESCO designation in 1964. We spent about an hour down there which was quite enough for me, thank you! It was certainly eye opening to visualize how people coped living in such confined quarters and to see the morgue, the ventilation system, the cooking area, the stables, etc.
|One of the tunnels|
After seeing quite enough of the
The rain had started in earnest while we were eating but most of the group chose to go on a 2.5 mile hike through the Ilhara Valley anyway. It was much like hiking at a number of mountain parks in
|We hiked to the bottom of the canyon before beginning the actual hike through the valley.|
The guide did lead us to one lovely old church called Agacali before we continued our walk in the Ilhara Valley.
One of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen was field upon field full of apparently harvested huge pumpkins, not surprising when 95% of the country's pumpkin industry is in
The tour’s final stop was at Pigeon Valley; we had seen hundreds of pigeon holes in the rocks throughout the day but only learned here that the people carved the dovecotes or holes into the rocks to attract pigeons in order to collect their droppings for fertilizing their crops, especially vineyards.