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  • Day42

    Underground City, Open Air Museum

    February 19, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C

    Rejoining the rest of our tourmates, we set off to explore Derinkuyu, an underground city where early Christians hid from the Romans. The tunnels and rooms are pretty expansive and the site equipped with a water source at the time. We were lucky to get into before other groups so had the place mostly to ourselves.

    Next stop, the Goreme Open Air Museum. We only spent about an hour here but you can easily spend more. The museum is surrounded by carved caves and filled with churches and frescoes. In order to preserve the frescoes, you're limited to 3 minutes in each church and no photography is allowed. We visited a few pretty cool churches including the Apple Church, the Church of No Name and St Barbara's Church. These names usually came about because of the shape of the church. The Sandal Church had feet imprints where Jesus supposedly ascended to heaven, though the geography would be incorrect given the details in the bible.

    Lunchtime! We met a local family who cooked lunch for us. Originally meant to be a dinner, changing it to lunch would allow us more time overall in the area. Our hostess made delicious wedding soup and stuffed eggplants, along with some pastries and dessert.

    Afterwards, we made stops at the viewpoints of Pigeon Valley and Love Valley. Pigeon Valley as you may guess, had lots of pigeons flying through. For 1 lira, you can feed them a cup of seeds. Love Valley had cheesy heart shaped swings you can sit on as you look out at the landscape. Both fun places great for pictures though we didn't get to linger.

    Rounding up the day, we stopped by for some info on Turkish carpets at a local warehouse and a pottery workshop. While the Turkish carpets were gorgeous, they were beyond the scope of the money we wanted to spend, though we understood the authenticity and hard work that go into each one. They're really meant to last. The pottery was interesting as well but we didn't learn as much.

    Not done exploring for the day, my roommate and I checked out our hotel which in itself is like a museum filled with antiques, from potteries. We were disappointed we didn't get to stay in a cave hotel, but our guide explained that each hotel only had 2-3 rooms so wasn't big enough to accommodate our group. G did pick a great alternative in Sofa Hotel though. One of our tourmates' room actually did have a cave shaped ceiling! Very cool all around.

    Dinner was on our own tonight, so after hiking up to sunset point for sunset and cool moonrise, we went two doors down from our hotel to try manti (Turkish ravioli). Not a hit with everyone though as there was a lot of yoghurt on the dish and the meat was bland for some.
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