Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age. The eruptions of these mountains which were active volcanoes lasted until 2 million years ago. A soft tuff layer was formed, over 100m in thickness, by lava in the valley surrounded by mountains. Strong winds, rivers, flood water running down the hillsides of valleys eroded the geological formations consisting of tuff on the plateau formed with tuff layers and creating the crazy shapes called fairy Chimneys.
””Cappadocia contains several underground cities largely used by early Christians as hiding places before Christianity became an accepted religion. These underground cities have defence networks and also have large amounts of traps throughout these underground levels””
After cycling along the incredible Ihlara Valley, it was now time to head towards Cappadocia, which was probably the main reason I chanced my route. My plan was to cycle the whole Cappadocia valley, which stretched from Nevsehir to Goreme and then a 40km circle to Cavusin, Zarve Monestery, Aktepe, Urgup and then back to Goreme.
It was an amazing day and one I will never forget. It was one of the hottest days on the road, but I had to see all these amazing sights. The Zerve Monastery which is spread out over three valleys, of which two are connected by a tunnel (which is currently closed). The Zelve Monastery contains innumerable rooms and passages which also house many pointed fairy chimneys with large stems, at about 40 feet above the valley floor. The Zelve Valley was inhabited until 1952.
The city of Urgup was also an amazing town, but at this point I was extremely tired and the sun burned the living shit out of me. I slowly cycled through the town, soaked myself with water at one of the water points and headed to Goreme. I had not eaten yet and was no starting to feel it.
In Goreme I found a cosy restaurant where I enjoyed a Cay, used the internet, have electricity to use my laptop and ordered some french fries… which was not nearly enough to fill me up. I had the chance to Skype with my mother then headed out to look for one of the carved out houses where I could sleep. Since I’ve seen these houses, I told myself I wont leave before I sleep in one of them for one night.
I found a perfect carved out house about 2km out of Goreme, where I had to carry everything up separately. It was just too steep and the entrances was very narrow. I settled in nicely and enjoyed my night in one of these houses where people lived hundreds of years ago.
I woke up by a very load noise the next morning… I was thinking…. “Who is blowing up jumping castles at 4:30 in the morning??” I slowly rolled around, stretch myself out and stood up…. and then… The noise was not people that was blowing up jumping castles… They were blowing up hot air balloons … I saw about four balloons and slowly got up to get my camera ready, as I would like to take some photos as they take off. I was still getting my things ready and when I looked around there was about 30 balloons… and they just got more!! One by one they were popping up and slowly starting to take off, some creeping over my little cave house as people were waiving and taking photos of me standing and doing the same to them.
This was the perfect start to my day and even better way to say goodbye to the beautiful and amazing Cappadocia! Now it is time to cycle hard towards the Border…
Cheers for now…
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