Day two consisted of an early morning breakfast and another full day of touring. We started with more rocks of unbelievable forms and it was at these stops that we were informed of the many things that the locals had identified as shapes of the rocks. It was very much like cloud watching where if you look hard enough you can see the resemblance of a form. Within the Cappadocia rocks the locals had managed to identify camels and ducks and dogs and alligators and snakes and many other things which made each rock seem to form a zoo of animals. We travelled and climbed amongst the rocks for as long as we could because it made us feel like kids again. The view was amazing and it seemed like these rocks went on forever so it was a shame when we were not able to enjoy them all by the time we were called back to the bus.
The second stop of the day consisted of visiting vicinity that mined and made things from onyx. We were educated about the process of digging and forming and polishing the rock and then creating beautiful jewelry. I was very
tempted to purchase a ring that had blue onyx stones within a silver band but they were unable to change the size to make it fit my finger so I had to just look and enjoy the jewelry behind a glass case. Before I knew it we were back on the bus and headed to our next destination which was an underground city that went 150m below ground of which 60m were open to public tours. Our tour guide warned us on the bus that if we were claustrophobic we may be uncomfortable with some of the areas and could opt to stay on the bus. I personally did not think that I was that claustrophobic until I was forced to practically crawl through the rock tunnels as I went deeper into the ground. Some areas were open which we were informed were living rooms and kitchens and stables, but others served just as passages where it was even hard for one person to make it through. I was not comfortable with this part (especially when people tried to come up the other side) but it was well worth it when I emerged at the end to an open atrium
and baptismal area. It was very interesting to see how people could live in these caves and I was amazed to hear the stories of how Christians used to hide in these areas from their enemy. We spent about an hour underground before we emerged into daylight again and I was very glad to hear that was the end of our cave experience.
The last stop of our trip was our very late lunch stop right inside a river valley. After seeing so much snow and sand I was very surprised to see a small river of water in the valley and at the same time towering snow covered mountains in the background. It was unbelievable that people actually live in an area such as this, amid towing walls of rock, with no connection to an outside world. We were informed that many of these stone land forms were seen in the back grounds of Star wars movies (although the actual movie was not given permission to take place there). When we made it to the bottom of the valley we had lunch outside on a small deck, sitting on pillows, by the water. The atmosphere of being outside and
surrounded by nature was amazing, and also being surrounded by friends made the meal that much better. We were allotted half an hour of explorations of the city valley before we boarded the bus for our 13 hour trip to Istanbul.
Again after many stops, we made it to Istanbul at 4am in the morning where my roommates and attempted to stay up the rest of the night (technically day) to work on our studio class which we would have presentations that day 9 hours later. After limited and interrupted sleep on the bus that night, and very little sleep over the course of the trip this was very difficult (even for a well practiced architecture student). In the end I made it to studio with an attempt at a project to show in addition to very tired eyes but also more tanned skin, which was at least one thing I was proud to show off in class.
To make up for our disappointing class and very tired appearance our French friend also in our studio class invited us over for dinner later that night. Due to the fact that we missed our regular Sunday market for food we jumped
at the opportunity to have food cooked for us as we remembered the looks of our very bare fridge. We brought wine and enjoyed an amazing dinner of baked and fried fish, rice, amazing mushrooms (that even give my mom’s a run for their money), bread, salad, baked tomato and peppers, and nutella cake. It was a great welcoming home get together and made me thankful that I stayed up the rest of the day instead of retiring early to bed for sleep. With the rest of the week ahead of me I am still attempting to catch up on lost sleep and my school projects but Cappadocia is definitely a place that was worth all of my time.
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