The area of Pashabaglari, popularly known as the Love Valley, hosts the most beautiful “chimneys” which can reach up to 15 to 20 meters in heights. They often come multi-coned and you can see two or three of them coalesced into one formation. The valley is four kilometers long.
St Simeon’s seclusion room
Following the path into the triple-coned “fairy chimney” in Pashalgari we come across two small premises, one of which was used as a seclusion room by the fifth century hermit St Simeon.
You can climb the ladder up there, but you will have to wait for your turn. There are a lot of tourists and you have to be careful since the climb is too steep and narrow and it is not wise for more than six or seven people to be inside the room at the same time. Although, when it comes to tourists, anything is possible.
If you are confused by the name of the valley, there is a simple answer to that. This area belonged to a gentleman by the name of Pasha, says the book we bought there, and thus the name for the whole valley. We also heard another explanation saying that Pashabaglari in Turkish actually means the Monk’s Valley, referring to St Simeon.
Wine festival in Urgup
The town of Urgup should not be missed since there are authentic accommodations to be found and a wide range of hotels, restaurants and shops. It is located at the altitude of 1,800 meters and it is one the richest places in the Nevshehir province.
This is actually the place where the first promotion of Cappadocia began, celebrating its historic heritage and natural beauties.
At the highest spot, on Temeni hill, there is Seljuk sultan’s Kilicharslan grave. Also, in Urgup it is easy to find Turkish baths, to see charming fountains, mosque, the famous library.
But the town is also known for its wine production, crafts and carpets. If you are into wine, make sure to come here in October, since there is a festival dedicated to it.
Derinkuyu town, located at about 30 kilometers from Nevshehir, is very popular, attracting numerous tourists to its underground city that was discovered by chance and opened to public in 1965.
It is believed that Hittites, Romans, Byzantines lived in this eight-story city, considered to be the ninth wonder of the ancient world.
There are 36 other underground cities in Cappadocia. They were safe places for the early Christians to worship freely away from prosecution. Later the same places were used as shelters during the Arab raids in the sixth and seventh century. The fact that makes the place even more interesting is that it has underground tunnels. It is believed that the one from the third floor once reached all the way to the other underground city of Kaymakli, nine kilometers away.
Byzantine chapel and Roman mosaics
If you have time, drive to Shahinefendi place where mosaic meeting room and a Roman bath were discovered. The research has shown that the meeting room was demolished in early Byzantine period and a simple chapel was built there in sixth or seventh century.
Approximately 100 tombs belonging to Byzantines were discovered in the surrounding area. Corpses were all buried in the same position – with right hands placed above their hearts.
Roman bath consists of all the necessary structures such as boiler room, hot-cold-warm rooms, pools and dressing rooms. A sandal figure on the wall of the dressing room is worth seeing. It resembles modern flip-flops.
And so, the end of our trip is near. It seems we have only seen a part of it, still hungry for more of those stories of natural phenomena and people hewing their way into rocks.
All these new impressions have just erased our memory on bumping and jouncing towards Cappadocia previously! Bought some local wine, even a small carpet as a reminder of such a worthy journey. Ballooning is another story (more about it in the last Glimpse on Tuesday!)…