We have really been bewitched by this Cappadocia! Before leaving it and heading towards Ankara, we would like once again to have a full focus on its magic rock formations… of its endless pinnacles which rise steeply to the sky. We, therefore, decide to take the caravan up to the foot of the Love Valley, a really bizarre place where the phallic shaped pillars – rock formations which rise steeply to the sky for several meters – hence, the name of Love Valley.
We venture along a narrow track of soil, sand and sometimes mud. Maybe it isn’t wise to keep going on. Therefore, we try to reverse the driving direction. It is not that simple and straightforward because of the very narrow spaces! So, we take the shovels, and in the blink of an eye Giannino and Rubens manage to dig a passageway to allow for maneuvering with all of our four vehicles and turning back: we couldn’t do without them …;)
Now it’s time for our drone Pinuccio to fly in order to give us some dreaming images, and Robi can resume the orange caravan while dashing into the dense vegetation of the valley. But that’s not all! We get back to the state road and head to the town of Derinkuyu where, a simple renovation in 1963, led to an extraordinary discovery: a passage to an underground city (up to 85 m profound) dating back thousands of years. Up to the present date, a mystery still hallows about its exact age and construction time given its impressiveness.
Of course, we visit it. Walking through the tunnels dug into the rock, wandering underground and discovering a place so fascinating and rich in history, has its meaning.
There are thirteen levels which go underground, and each of them has ventilation wells and air vents. It’s amazing just to think that the rocky rooms of this city could hold up to 20,000 people! At various levels, there are winepresses, livestock stables, shops, churches, schools, barns … All that is needed to live months and months underground and thus escape from Christian persecution and countless forays such as many scholars have assumed.
Eventually, when we go back to the open air it is already afternoon: you easily lose the sense of time in a place that never sees sunlight. So, we have a quick snack nearby our vehicles and head back to the capital which we reach at sunset time. Unexpectedly a multiethnic and young city, welcomes us: the downtown streets are crowded with boys and girls dressed up in the latest fashion which makes it live and colorful.
The muezzin’s call in such an occidental context certainly puzzles you, but at the same time, it gives you that little bit of tradition which gives it a touch of extra charm.