A “must see” in Turkey is Cappadocia, a unique and particularly beautiful area in Central Anatolia. We arrived there on the evening of 10 May, Vlad’s birthday. Wonderful place to celebrate such an event.
There are some theories about how this area was formed, but what seemed to us to be remembered was about the three volcanic mountains: Erciyes, Hasan and Melendiz Dagları, that erupted more than 30 million years ago, covering the Urgup plateau in ash . The resulting volcanic ash was the raw material for the formation of the volcanic tuff, the specific rock for that area.
Over millions of years erosion dug in this soft, sandy or brick-like rock, forming spectacular valleys, among others the well-known “Fairy Chimney.”
There are plenty to see in Cappadocia, we stayed there for 10 days and we still didn’t have enough. One of the first cities where we stood with the tent was Goreme, a place where at 5 o’clock in the morning hot air balloons are being launched into the air, adding more value to the landscape, and the lucky ones in the balloons have the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise from the height.
We stayed for 3 nights in the Dilek Camping, being recommended by the first cyclist, a Swiss who had cycled more than 100,000 km, about 6 years of travel through the world.
In the camping we were pleasantly surprised to meet a Roumanian woman who had cycled by herself from Romania to Turkey, planning a tour of Turkey. From Cappadocia going to Adana, Antalya, Izmir and back home. As a matter of fact she was the only cycle compatriot that we have met on our route. In other words, cyclotourism in Roumania is not very popular, a counter-example given by the French, which we have encountered in a very large number.
While exploring the area, our attention was caught by a yellow tandem bicycle with a little red cross. So, being curious about who owns the bike, we start looking for them. Obviously, it was not hard to find them in a grocery store, they were wearing the helmets, as an extra hint, so we went into discussion and slowly we became friends.
They were a couple from Swiss, and at one point they suggested some places where we could go together, and so we did.
At one point when we headed for the Derinkuyu underground city, we exchanged bicycles Anita, which was small and thin took my bike and Sem, the Swiss who was twice as much of Vlad, took Vlad’s bike, as we both took their bicycle. I seating in front, and Vlad back with the handle bar and brakes. Initially, it seemed weird, Vlad was not used handling such a weight, and I did not feel safe, being closer to the ground and feeling that I was heading for all the obstacles without any control or protection. In other words, we realized that it did not fit us and we returned to our bikes, being happy about our choice.
At some point we decided to sleep in a cave, which people surely used to sleep a few hundred years ago, trying to relive their life somehow. Before that, we visited a small church where a nice guide served us with the classical turkish tea for the evening.
We arrived at the city of Derinkuyu, which we visit together, amused by the exaggerated price that the local guide asks for some stories.
It’s no surprise to find another bike next to our bikes when we get out of the underground city. We wait for the owner and find out he is a Frenchman named Eric, the site where he writes is https://ericrandos.wordpress.com/.
We decide to find a camping spot to share stories together. On the 2nd day we and the French return to Goreme, from where Silvia has to pick up a package and the Swiss go to Greece and the long road home
Because we do not like to go back the same path, we choose a shorter road on a worse and less traffic road that takes us to Pigeon Valley.
We arrived in Goreme, the French goes on his way, and we go to recover the package, and our Turkish friend who helped us with the package invites us to dinner in Avanos, her hometown. We are delighted with the invitation, the perfect opportunity to better understand the culture of the place, through a culinary tasting.
The next morning we decided that we should visit something else and head for Cavusin.
From here we go further and visit the Monks Valley, a place quite popular among tourists, located in the Pasabag area.
Another place worth visiting is the open-air museum Zelve, where the entrance must be paid but is not excessively expensive.
As soon as we get out of the museum, the rain begins, we find a shelter at the terrace set up right at the entrance, where we test something like a pancake stuffed with spinach, cheese and other greens.
Glad that we have eaten, we cycle to our next destination, Rose and Red Valley, which were actually the last things we visited in Capadochia.