Wednesday, July 15, 2009


In the early hours of the morning, those of us who had opted for the hot-air balloon ride were picked up and went for their early morning tour. I did not opt for this as I found it too expensive and I had chosen instead to extent my stay in Istanbul for three nights for the same cost.

After breakfast, we were driven around the area in Cappadocia and saw some ancient houses built on the face of the hills on our way to the first stop today which was the underground city of Kaymakli.

It was good that we were the first group and had the whole place to ourselves. There were two stretches of tunnels where we had to bend over and were quite narrow. Cannot imagine what would happen if some big size tourist get stuck in between. There are several underground cities in the region and they were all used by the early Christians as hiding place from persecutions by the Romans and other enemies.

After this visit we went to an Onyx factory where the ladies had a field day shopping for their favourite jewellery while the poor men just had to get their credit card on standby!

We had lunch at another cave restaurant where we were served kebab cooked in an earthen jar, something like the style of the Chinese beggar chicken but it was more like beef stew.

After lunch, it was a visit to the open-air museum of Goreme, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here are stone formations of various shapes and sizes and many of the caves were used as Christian chapels from the 4th century.

Next stop was a carpet factory where they really brought out their ware for all to see but no purchase was done since they were rather expensive.

From the factory we went to a vintage point to view the various rock formations (the fairy chimneys) and for some souvenir hunting.

Next view was the Ice-cream Valley (creamy and yummy) and Uschisar Castle followed by the Pigeon Valley

The final stop for the day was a pottery factory before we went back to our hotel for our dinner.

Ronald Kwok

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