I went to Kaymakli, which is an underground city. There are about 36 underground cities in Cappadocia. Many Christians had lived here, in an underground city, to escape the persecution back then.
Above all, about 4,000 – 8,000 Christians had lived in Kaymakli.
As soon as I found out about this place on the Internet, I decided to go there (although it was a little far from Goreme, where I stayed).
Actually, I got a little nervous to go there by myself, but my curiosity got the better of the nervousness. My heart was pounding both with excitement and nervousness.
There were many tourists in Kaymakli. We went inside the cave one after another.
The inside was so narrow, and many tourists were moving ahead of me.
So I couldn’t pass through smoothly.
Besides, it was cold inside the cave. But the coldness which is specific to a cave aroused my curiosity.
“Now I’m in the underground city of Cappadocia!” I said to myself.
There is enough equipment to live, such as churches, schools, pantries, wineries, and lots of rooms inside the cave.
As I looked around at these traces of their lives, I imagined the people who’d lived in the underground city back then.
After Kaymakli, I went to the town “Guzelyurt”
According to the website, it’s also one of the ‘must-visit’ places in Cappadocia.
There are rock-hewn churches, underground cities, and houses hollowed into the caves here. It’s like a small Cappadocia!!
As soon as I found the place on the Internet, I decided to go there (although it’s a little far from Goreme).
Anyway, I asked my host how to go there. But she didn’t know, either.
I took a bus from Kaymakli for Guzelyurt.
“If I don’t understand how to get there, I can go back midway,” I said to myself.
A while later, the bus stopped in a town midway. Then, the driver told me that I couldn’t go any further by bus and I had to take a taxi to Guzelyurt from there.
“Taxi!! It must be expensive…” I got nervous.
It’s risky to go there by taxi. I already spent much money for the balloon ride, and I had to keep on traveling.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t give up going there. I had no choice but to take a taxi for Guzelyurt.
I asked the driver the fee nervously. It was 100 Turkish lira. That’s about 3,000 Japanese yen. It’s expensive for me as I was traveling on a budget.
I hesitated a little to pay.
“I spent lots of money so far, even though I have to keep on traveling another five months. I might lose all of my money before I finish traveling…But I don’t want to regret not going there later. It’s risky. But I decided to take a risk when I decided to travel around the world.”
I repeated this kind of consideration in my head.
I withdrew money from an ATM, and we headed for Guzelyurt.
It’s really fun to move by car in the beautiful scenery of Turkey.
The driver explained the scenery to me while driving.
“That’s a mountain named 〜” in Turkish English. We went through the magnificent Turkish landscape.
After a while, we arrived in Guzelyurt. I didn’t see any other tourists but me as the access isn’t good.
And it’s a different atmosphere from Goreme. I saw local people riding a donkey, while I was riding in the taxi. The view made me excited as I’ve never seen a donkey in everyday life.
It’s not so touristy like Goreme.
Anyway, I started exploring Guzelyurt. The guide explained to me about the caves. “This was a toilet, this was a water reservoir back then,” and so on.
The underground city here is much more complicated inside than that of Kaymakli. So it’s really difficult to pass through.
We passed through the darkness by shining the flashlight on ahead of us. There was a church inside, and a Fresco was drawn on the wall.
The Fresco on the wall made of stone had already faded away a little. Nevertheless, it gave off a holy atmosphere in the church.
“What had the Christian who lived here prayed, in this church….”
Later, the guide took me to Monastery valley. It’s full of rock-cut churches and dwellings cut into the cliff walls. It’s a good place for a panoramic view.
The guide showed them to me one after another. As there are many places to see, I was a little exhausted to see these things. Nevertheless, the view in Monastery valley was breathtaking and it blowed off my fatigue.
Maybe two or three hours later, we went back to the taxi and I started going back the long way to Goreme.
Then, we went back to Goreme.