We knew that the cheapest way to travel around Turkey is by bus. But we also don’t want to spend that much time on the road. Luckily there’s a Sun Express flight route from Izmir (Ephesus) to Kayseri (Cappadocia). When we land in Kayseri, I thought to myself now THIS is Central Anatolia. Izmir was a surprise because I thought it would be dry but ends up to be green and lushes. Now Cappadocia is as expected. A bit rough, dry, big rocks, vast landscape – but at the same time charming. We saw a big snowcapped mountain ahead, and can see rain coming from a far.
It was absolutely the right decision to book a group pick up; because the public transportation is not so convenient for tourists. We book it via our B&B, but I think it was 30 lira or so. The benefit of booking the room, pick up and tour together is that they can swiftly moved you. When we arrived at Goreme town, our bag is delivered to the B&B, while we are whisked to a different car to catch up with our tour group.
First stop is panoramic point – Pigeon/Rose Valley. It
gave you a taste of what’s coming ahead. Rock valleys with smooth contour. After that we were drove to this underground city. You must be physically fit to do this. We went down up to 7 levels; while they said there are like 20 levels but only 7 is open to public. Legend said that some of these folks trying to save themselves from tyrant and decided to live underground. Not sure whether the story is accurate or not; but indeed it’s interesting to see the underground complex. The killing part is when you have to WALK UP! No elevator guys ha ha….
Next we hike at the Ihlara Valley. It’s supposed to be a gentle 4 km stroll; but we were a bit rushed by the tour guides. So limited time to take it all in. Physically I feel this one is easier than the underground city. We only need to go down stairs, then walk aside river path. The panorama is just breathtaking. I remember thinking to myself, I can’t believe we’re in Turkey! Breathing this fresh air… Wow… Luckily somewhere down, our guide gave us rest time so we sat down near the river and just
taking it all in.
I thought that hike is the toughest of the day – but apparently it’s not over yet! When we saw the word “Selime Monastery” in the tour program; I thought it’s some old building or something. Apparently it’s a giant hill and you are expected to climb! We saw a couple with small toddler decided to stay down. But that same couple actually going inside the Underground City. It’s challenging way up – but the view from above is just wonderful. Great pictures
. The life pace here is so slow (in a good way) compared to the city. You can’t help but feel at peace as well.
I’m not a big fan of tour; but I do believe in joining daily excursion when it’s necessary. In Cappadocia, this Green route tour is worth it. The distance between the places are just too far and no public transportation. Well, you can rent a car if you’re up for it.
That night we slept like a baby…. With a smile as well.
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