Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where are all the troglodytes?

One of my favorite things to do when we go to Cappadocia is exploring the underground cities. These are basically caverns carved out of the rocks by hand. Some are a thousand years old or more. For more on the underground cities of Cappadocia you can read here, here, and here.

Brian and I have been to the two largest underground cities and wanted to do one that was less touristy.

We followed the signs for the village of Ozluce where there was supposed to be an underground city. When we drove up there was one lady in her doorway who pointed us to the parking lot/field/children's play place. We were the only people there. Yes! Much better than trying to explore an underground city full of tourists!

After we parked a man came running out of a building to meet Brian and point us in the right direction.

Brian standing at the entrance to the "under graund city".

Once inside the door we found these two delightful children. Mustafa and Aysegul were quite taken with us. Very giggly.

Ayhan, the caretaker, flipped on a light switch, handed Brian a flashlight, and pointed down this hallway. Basically we were left alone to go exploring.

At the end of the first tunnel we came to a large room. This is the doorway back out. These large stone doors were rolled in front of the openings to keep invaders out.

Wait...we thought we were being left alone. Aysegul and Mustafa were following us! Brian started asking them questions about different things in the cave. They were our tour guides. They had no qualms about going down dark passageways at all...quite impressive for a 2 and 3 year old. There were random light bulbs around. Some of them worked and some of them didn't.

All of these pictures were taken in the dark. I had no idea what I was actually getting until after I took them. Notice the nonworking light bulb in this picture.

There were kitchens, bedrooms, stables, wine and water cisterns, and all kinds of other rooms. They pretty much all looked the same.

Then I had to take this video because of how insane the whole thing seemed. This shows you how dark it was!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

And because the video is so dark here are some pictures of the actual tunnel we walked down.

Brian pointing the flashlight down the tunnel we are about to explore.

And we kept going...

And going...

Until finally finding this well. It did have a grate over the top of it so we weren't going to accidentally fall in. Notice the steps carved into the side of the well. And of course it wouldn't be Turkey if there wasn't trash thrown it it.

In the above video this is where we decided to stop. Who knows how much further we could have gone!

As we were leaving Ayhan took our picture in front of the wheel door. (I am wearing a wrap like thing that I had to buy the night before because I was cold. I know...I usually bring a jacket everywhere I go knowing that I will probably get cold at some point. The cave was quite chilly!)

This underground city is probably my favorite one so far. I loved that there weren't any other tourists. I loved that Ayhan just let us go exploring on our own. I loved that the kids were sweet and funny. And oh yeah...the fact that Ayhan told Brian that I had a sweet face didn't influence me at all!

I love Turkey!


Anonymous said...

Lara Croft and Indiana Jones... watch out...

Why did it feel like Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie teamed up to bring us this video??

LiteralDan said...

I agree with Ayhan, and that place does indeed look like fun. Though maybe with a few extra flashlights.

Anonymous said...

oh what fun that looked like!
me, being me...would have been scared....in the dark......and cold. I am am big ninny.


Anonymous said...

That is very cool. I agree that it's much nicer to explore un-touristed places.

Anonymous said...

I hyperventilated just looking at the pictures. You guys are brave!!


sheasy said...

This looks like so much FUN!!! I want to stay in the rock hotel. Maybe I can make my own....

Natalie said...

charlie girl - brian wants to know if you mean harrison ford 1984 or harrison ford 2008.

literaldan - i was actually thinking about how much fun the kids would have with flashlights down there! they would have loved it!

#2 - i wasn't scared or worried even. cold...for sure!

citizen of the world - it was great that it was empty. we felt like we could take our time.

christy - my mom went into the very first room of the underground city we took her to and decided it was enough for her. the stooping down to walk through the hallways was more than she could handle.

sheasy - the rock there is pretty soft...easy to dig. good luck finding one that isn't already lived in though!