Got up early, called the American, Syrian, and Jordan embassies with visa questions. If all goes well I should be able to get my visas for Syria and Egypt and be headed South by Wednesday afternoon. I hired a minibus with Laura, Jeann, Rachel, and Caisly(?). We visited several panoramic views, the Kale (also called the Citidel or the castle), Pigeon valley, the underground city at Kaymakli, Fairy Chimney Valley, Zelve Valley, and Rose valley. Quite a busy day.
The first ruins we visited was The Kale (also known as the Castle, or the Citidel). It was probably the most impressive ruins visually from the outside, but the interior wasn't that interesting, and all you got for the ticket price was a hike and a nice view from the top. From the outside the Kale looks like the model to downtown Bedrock's (from the flintstones) office buildings. A solid mountain of rock with windows everywhere on the face.
Next stop was Pigeon Valley.This wasn't to exciting visually, but was fun to walk around. Mostly single room dwellings, and tomb doors. There were some nice tunnels where the stream through the valley went underground for a ways. Lot's of paw prints in the river bed that may have been wolf tracks (or just stray dogs?) Lots of bones around as well.
Next up was Kaymakli, or more importantly the underground city there. It's on four major levels, and is a three dimentional maze. Rooms, passages, furniture, food storage bins, shelves, wine making aperatus, etc. are all carved out of the solid rock. Supposedly the villagers could seal the doors and in case of seige spend up to six months without venturing out.
After Kaymakli we headed for Fairy Chimney Valley. This was a visually stunning (tons of the "fairy chimney" stone columns), and exciting ruins to expore. The ruins consisted of three and four storry dwellings and churches, all dug from these rock formations. It really looks like something out of a fairy tale. Besides the ruins there are also some great desert vistas of the region. It was here that I realized that even if Cappadocia had only the rocks formations, or the structures it would be a great place to visit. With both...
The Zelve Valley was next. This is a village of dwellings carved into the walls of a beautiful valley. The interesting thing is that as recently as the late 50's people were still living here. This was by far the most exciting site to explore. One could spend a week here and still not see all the chambers. There are hundreds of "buildings", and some of them must have close to a hundred chambers. The Monastery was a lot of fun to explore, there must have been five of six levels all interconnected with winding passages and stairs. You couldn't design a better playground.