With our feet now on the ground, we were dropped off by Lars back at the Serinn, where we had a much deserved breakfast before heading out to our day tour. When planning this trip I had decided we should at least visit one of the underground cities and hike in the Ihlara Valley. The red tour offered by Rock Valley combined these two activities, plus we had the advantage of having a guide which I think is advisable for the underground city visit (and we met such nice people too - hi Wendy and Brian !)
That was actually our first stop, and soon we were going down towards Derinkuyu. Not a visit recommended for anyone suffering from claustrophobia, since the corridors are quite narrow and sometimes quite short as well (and dark). This particular city has eight levels that can be visited, but with all the tours happening that morning sometimes it was not easy to go from one level to the next.
Our hike in the Ihlara Valley was a more relaxing experience. We visited one of the better preserved abandoned churches, and then hiked until the village of Belirsima where we had lunch by the river. The scenery is quite beautiful, and since a great part of the path is on the shade, it's a good hike to take when it's too hot to do anything else.
After lunch, we headed out to Selime, which is a high point with magnificent views over the Valley.
Our last stop on the tour was the 12th century Agzikarahan Caravanserai. These were structures built along the silk road which would allow merchants and other travelers to rest during their journey.
Later that night we repeated the Old Greek House experience, and the food was just as good. I can't recommend this restaurant enough, it was really one of the best we tried. Oh, and at the end they gave us a tour of the house, which is an invitation worth taking.
These two full days in Cappadocia had been amazing, but it was time to leave for our next destination, and I felt sad we couldn't stay longer. There was so much we hadn't seen but then that's why Turkey is a country you can't visit just once. I would especially miss Eren and the Serinn (and Findick, of course) but I'm hoping we can return one day soon.
Our last breakfast there was memorable (Eren, I'm still thinking about those biscuits and that delicious peach pie), and soon we said our goodbyes.
Before we left, a quick stop by Rose Valley, which seemed like a great spot for some hikes on our next visit (and for watching the sunset too).
More photos at Flickr:
Derinkuyu Underground City