December 31, 2014

Rocks and Caves—Cappadocia, Turkey Part 2

On our second day in Cappadocia we had amazing weather to enjoy. We all rested well after sleeping in our dark cave! We had several items on the list so we headed out after a great Turkish Breakfast. It was kind of fun to be there because another family visiting Turkey too had a little guy the same age as Lucky Dragon. They two of them would dance together to the fun music playing in the dining room. It was fun to watch. This little guy is quite social (and loves to dance to music—any music).

Dancing the morning away



Our journeys took us down some narrow roads that wind from village to village in the valleys of no trees. You would have thought that we were a parade by the way that the locals would stop and stare as we drove through. We made it to Ihlara Valley. It is a large deep valley that was cut into the rock after years of erosion from the river. This place too, had several ancient churches to explore. We hiked down the 800 stairs to the valley floor and hiked from cave to cave for a few hours. Lucky boy loved being outside, watching the water, feeling the snow, and chasing the random animals in the area.

Look at all of those was hard going down. Going back up was killer!

My favorite of all of the Churches was one called “Snake Church” they are intricately painted walls of different Christian scenes. We had fun being out in nature. I am not sure that the geese were so happy to have us there, but hey they like the bread we fed them. Tau’aho was all about it until they became a bit aggressive and were trying to take his chips out of his hand!

One of the many shepherds we saw and his sheep

We drove from Ihlara to Darinkuyu, another small city in the area. This is one of the many villages that exist on top of a historical underground city. We went in and I was alright for the first few levels. However, about then the tunnels became more narrow and there were tour groups standing in the only open spaces. Lady Hiva went deeper down to explore and I was wise enough to stay in the “living room” that had a large vent to the outside. However, the next section we had to crawl on our knees and I had Lucky Dragon in front of me and the backpack was scraping the roof of the cave. I started to panic—C.L.A.U.S.T.R.O.P.H.O.B.I.A! Seriously! Lady Hiva tells me that it is all in my head. Yes, I guess all fears are just a mental aspect. However, it is one I cannot control.
Underground city, level one

 I told Lady I have to leave. I felt like tearing off all my clothes to get some air. She took the backpack and I picked up Tau’aho, who thought it was fun that we were walking so fast and ended up being upside down and laughing. I barged through the large group of Asians tourists who were shocked about the rude interruption and a laughing upside down child. I followed the signs backwards to go out the same way we came in. The panic compounded by the minute as I did not know where the exit was and what if we were STUCK DOWN THERE! Finally I made it outside and took off as many layers of clothes as I possibly could even though the weather was near freezing! I was sweating so bad and my heart was pounding. I let Lady Hiva feel and she started to laugh…just in my head or not…it was real panic.

After we came out we went shopping and Lady Hiva bought some traditional rag dolls from an elderly woman named, Sakiye. She was so kind and friendly to us. She stayed and talked to us for several minutes. She was so happy that Lady Hiva bought two of her dolls and was interested in learning her name. She asked for a paper and a pen and wrote it down for us and was so proud she even added her address. Kindness goes a long way. 

 We made it back to Goreme for one more open air museum. It was beautiful! We had fun exploring all the different caves, homes and churches from years of people populating these barren hills. The last stop of the day was Testi Kabob again. This time in a cave restaurant with a beautiful fire. Lucky boy was so tired he fell asleep in the chair and the staff brought a blanket for him to sleep while we ate. Now that is service!

Large dining table in the cave dining room