In the morning we had a easy waking up, had our breakfast and off we went to see the area’s sites. Unfortunately Manolis suffered from gastrointestinal issues which forced him to stay in the hotel. First visit of the day was at the Goreme open air museum, just a few kilometers from our accommodation. I remembered some years ago that it was a non finished parking place next to the entrance where we could park the motorcycles. Unfortunately it was finished when we went there and we had to pay 6 TL for all 3 motorcycles.
Entering the museum we paid 15 TL and immediately we start exploring the place. This museum of Goreme is among UNESCO Heritage sites and consists of churches and other structures which are all carved on a volcanic rock. Most of the churches are dating since the 11th century. Some of the churches are really impressive, those are the St. Barbara, chapel of St. Basil and church of Melos. The most impressive temple is the known «Dark Church» (Karanlik Kilise) with the best preserved frescoes in whole Cappadocia. To be able to see them you have to pay an extra fee of 8 TL. Also impressive enough and without any extra fee is «Church of the Snakes» dating on the 11th century and dedicated to St. Onuphrius.
After the museum we continued sightseeing at the very impressive Pasabag known also as the valley of monks or chimneys of fairies. My opinion Pasabag is the best place to visit in Cappadocia and its free. The area is possessing some conical rocks up to 40 meters of height resembling like chimneys with a hat on the top. They were created from erosion of volcanic soil in the area with rain and nature creating these unique structures through the centuries, specifically on the 4th Geologic era and are totally unprotected from natural spoilage.
Next is Sarihan Caravanserai just out of Avanos. Sarihan – meaning Yellow – was build from Izzettin Keykavus II back in 1249. It covers an area of 2000 square miles and it was the last caravan that was build by the Seljucks. Through the years suffered a lot of damage but was fully restored in 1991. Entrance was 1 euro and we were the only visitors.
Next for visiting is «Devrent valley» known also as «Imaginary valley or Pink valley». The road crosses the valley and in both sides of the route are lying some remarkable rocky formations. The most famous one is the one looking like a camel.
Next visit is the picturesque village of Mustafapasa. Old name of the village was Sinassos which was habited by Greeks, Karamanlides (Christian Turks) and muslim Turks. The name derives from 2 words, Sin means sun and Assos means town, the sun town. The town flourished in the 19th century as the locals were very successful traders of sea goods in Constantinople, mainly pastes and black caviar which where the sole distributors in Europe. Very advance in the town was Greek education, a kindergarten and schools were established with teachers from Athens mostly. As a result of success and wealth, was the creation of the magnificent mansions of Sinassos which are rich decorated outside and inside with frescoes and other ways. 95 of them are declared by the Turkish government as preserved and the whole area is under UNESCO. In 1992 exchange of population, most of the people of Sinassos moved to north Evvoia (Greece) creating New Sinassos.
We parked outside of a mansion written on the outside «Old Greek house» which is an old Greek mansion which is transformed into a hotel and is among the best in the area. We stayed there watching it but very loud music coming from a nearby house made us leave asap. We headed to the village center to take a look what had to offer. We sat for a small break at restaurant Hanimeli, walking made our appetite grow. The best place to be, away from big touristic crowds as Sinassos is not so popular destination in the area.
We departed again with destination the castle of Uchisar offering to the visitor a great view of the whole area. From what we read about the castle – has entrance fee – has to offer only a great view and nothing else. The view of course, you can enjoy it by just following the road behind the parking place... Back to our hotel were Manolis was in a better state than morning. Chatting between us we forgot and lost the chance to observe the sunset, we even spotted a place for that... Instead of sunset we went to Goreme’s center, we sat down in a cheap and good kebab house, the Silk Road. We had a lovely filling meal with our beers and we returned back to hotel quite early.
Tomorrow alarms will start ringing just after 4:00 am...