Underground caves and star wars???

Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
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Trip End Feb 26, 2012


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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Sunday, February 19, 2012

I woke up in this morning to the shining sun, beautiful cold crisp winter air, and a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Breakfast at my hotel was simple but nice. Hard boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, cheese, and bread. I signed up for the green tour (90TL) to see the underground city that's about 30 minutes away from Goreme.

The underground city was very cool. It goes down about 11 levels but tourists are only allowed down to the 7th level. We traveled trough caves that allowed people to live there unto 2 months. These caves have been inhabited by different groups of people (Greeks, Persians, Arabics, and Christians) starting as early as 2 BC. Many christians live their during times of persecution. The caves could fit around 10,000 people in them and Contained everything from a kitchen, playroom for children, a church, morgue, and house livestock. The best thing about visiting this place in the winter was that there were only two tour groups, mine (of 7 people) and another small group. I hear over the summer it becomes packed with tourists.

After the caves we drove about 30 to a church called Ala Kilisesi (Ala Church) that was built in a cave. Its was a small single room cave with old religious paintings  Next to the church was a oil mill and wheat mill. Years ago there were 14 church in this particular valley. Only 4 remain intact. The other caves could only be visited in summer time. The snow kind of got in our way. But, luckily I had my snow boots with me! I definitely needed them.  

We stopped afterwards for lunch which was included in the price on the tour. I ordered Turkish meatballs which are flat meatballs. They were good, tasty. I also had some apple tea which is a very popular drink in Turkey.

From there we drove to an abandon cave monastery in Sofanli. For those star wars fans this is not the site where the movie was shot, however pictures were taken and it was replicated. This monastery was also a resting place for travels. Since camels could only travel 30 kilometers a day they would often rest here. Last year part of the monastery collapsed so were we were only allowed free range of the lower portion. My boots also proved to be handy here because there was at least 4 inches of snow on the path. If you couldn't find the path you would fall into over a foot of snow. It was fun. Since the tour guides gave us free range to go wherever I took off climbing and entering caves I probably wouldn't have tried to go into without snow. If I fell, I fell into white powdery untouched snow apposed to falling off a cliff. It was absolutely stunning. 
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