Galitz JE's

The Galitz Journal for friends and family

Day 2 – Cappadocia Adventure

Great Day. Slept till 9:30 and forced myself up to get breakfast. There were enough tourists to warrant a buffet. Eventually roused myself and drove off to see the underground cities. The manager here said to go to the largest one in Derinkuyu. Frommers and the internet info I had printed out earlier also mentioned a smaller one that was for the adventurous at Mazikoy.

After missing a few exits at the nearby large city of Nevishir and asking lots of gas station attendants for directions, I finally found the highway to Derinkuyu. It was only a half an hour drive and I parked at the most logical spot near the market place and found out I didn’t know how to use reverse on the car. A tourist found a bus driver who showed me how to put the car in reverse, one had to PULL UP on the rubber ring. I think I had done this in the past as I remember trying to pull up on the clutch but I was missing the important part — the rubber ring. Anyway, found out that the entrance to the place was only a block away, I just couldn’t see it from where I was parked.

Derinkuyu was fine but a bit pricey at $7. Only had to wait in one place for the tourists to move out of a passageway. Not much to see and I actually found the hewed out man made caves in China more impressive. The best part were the long stairs descending into the next level of the city.

Anyway, had my packed lunch of items saved from breakfast and then headed off to find Mazikoy. I carefully scanned for the exit sign for the town that was in small letters along with other names. It was partially covered by shrubs. This time I managed to turn at the right place. I think part of my problem with finding the right exits, is not knowing what the arrows mean — does it mean turn right now or turn at the next exit.

Mazikoy was tons of fun and definitely worth the side trip. For me it was much more exciting than Derinkulu. For one thing, I was the only tourist. The guide took me around with a coleman lantern and gave the whole experience an Indiana Jones flavor. Got to climb up the passageways and in one place, the guide lifted me up into the next chamber. There were some artifacts in place so one could see how the people lived. He left me in one level to show me how the people communicated via tubes from one level to the next.

I was lucky, as this was the last day the place was going to be open for the season. The guide then offered to show me around the area. I negotiated for $14 and received a wonderful tour.

First we went to a Roman ruin which was being excavated. The guide felt free to ignore the do not enter areas and took me around to see the interior. Nice mosaics and well restored bath.

Then on to a large Rock monastery complex where there was Christian activity for a thousand years. The guide seems to know everyone as he stops many people driving around and on the streets to say hello.

Visited a greek town and met the guide’s Bulgarian friend who took me to see some old Greek churches and then played the Saz for me. Went to the mountains and hiked through the valley and streams to see some of the rock chapels on high. By then it was getting dark, so one last stop for iran (yogurt drink) and pretzel.

Drove back to pension and called it a night by 9:30 pm. Today is my last day for Cappadocia and then drive back to Kayseri to drop off the rental car and meet Earl in Istanbul. It would be nice to come back with a hiking buddy and do more exploring.

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