Saturday, November 22, 2014

Around Cappadocia

We spent one of our road trip days exploring a few areas within the immediate vicinity of Cappadocia.

One of these areas was the Ihlara Valley. The valley, which lies at the bottom of a 100 meter-deep, stream-lined gorge, contains thousands of ancient cave dwellings and hundreds of ancient churches along its ten mile length. Constructed in the Byzantine era (330-1453 A.D.), the cave structures were used by the early Christians who sought escape from Roman soldiers.

Me and Ferit, in one of the cave churches.
Notice the ancient paintings on the wall behind us.

Here we are balancing on two of four possible legs...

...and now we're balancing on only one of four possible legs.

Ferit jumps.

And I jump, too.

A painting on the ceiling of another one of the cave churches in the valley.

While Ferit and I hiked in the valley, my mom enjoyed the views from up above.

In addition to hiking in the Ihlara Valley, we visited Derinkuyu, the site of one of the many multi-level underground cities in the area. Extending nearly 60 meters below ground, it is the largest underground city in Turkey. It was thought to once house up to 20,000 people.

This hole, 55 meters deep,
served as both a ventilation shaft and as a means of obtaining water.

This was one of many large stone doors that could
be rolled to block off a corridor within the city.

Ferit rests peacefully
in one the graves of the underground cemetery.

As we drove about, we saw a bunch of folks working in a field. Curious as to the nature of the fieldwork, our Turkish tour guide (Ferit) pulled over to inquire.

The people working in the fields.

The field workers first lined up the squash into rows.

As the tractor drove by, the workers picked up the squash
and threw them into this machine.
The machine separated the seeds, collected the seeds in the green bag,
and then excreted the rest of the vegetable into the field.

We were given some seeds to eat. Yummy!

In the evening, we watched a performance of the whirling dervishes. The dance is part of a formal ceremony by the Sufis (founded by the Islamic theologian and poet, Rumi) in an attempt to reach religious ecstacy.

The dervishes, whirling about.

And with that, our visit to Cappadocia was over. Over the next few days, we would focus on visiting some ancient ruins along the Mediterranean coast.


  1. Sarah, I've learned so much from your posts! They're fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad to hear that, Kelly! Thanks for reading along!

  2. OK its decided, Next time I DO try to fit into your carry on luggage! We will buy you new close when we get where we are going!

    1. Clothes that is :) As always love your choice of pictures


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