Cappadocia

I hate to keep going on like this, but this last town we saw has really blown away every place that we’ve been. Moving on from Kastamonu we opted to head to Cappadocia, an area we were thinking about skipping entirely because of its reputation as a tourist mecca. We decided to plant ourselves in Güzelyurt, a sort of obscure village an hour west of the main tourist town, in the hopes that we could steer clear of the crowds.

The region is known for its bizzare rock formations, ancient churches carved into cliff walls, underground cities and other geological oddities, and it is well worth its drawing power. Güzelyurt was a great choice. We were, once again, the only foreigners in town, and we got to monopolize the resources of the village tourist bureau. The resources of the tourist bureau, to be precise, was a guy named Ali from Konya who spoke good English and showed us around town.

The underground city below Güzelyurt was astounding, and perilous enough: navigating the passageways required dexterity and some rock-climbing intuition. We certainly would not have attempted some of the holes down there if Ali hadn’t told us where to put our feet and where to hold on.

We spent most of two days scrambling among rock formations, checking out ruined Greek Othodox cave churches, and hiking suprisingly untrod paths through the alien landscape. The whole experience had the real feeling of adventure because the attractions were mostly empty, unsignposted, and not obvious to find. Great fun.

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