Saturday, October 18, 2014

Uçhisar & Pigeon Valley.


It was our last afternoon in Cappadocia. We had seen and done a lot in the two plus days we had been here. I had reached the stage where I would have been happy just sitting in a cafe and whiling the rest of our stay here. Understandably, Bro wanted to make the most of his visit as he, like me when I was first here, has no idea if he will ever be back.  So, there was one place left to go - Pigeon Valley.  The name had kept coming up in conversation and even though I knew that by now, seeing Pigeon Valley was not really going to add much to Bro's overall Cappadocia experience.  I had been here before and while it's a nice place, it most certainly pales in comparison to either White or Rose valleys.  But, there was no way that I would dream of stopping Bro from coming here.


From White Valley, we drove to Uçhisar.  After two days of driving around, we knew our way there without needing the assistance of either a map or Ms. Google.


Bro spotted the tour buses and souvenir shops that are located at the foothill of Uçhisar Castle.  From here, we knew we could walk to the town.  Bro parked the car nearby and we set out.

Surrounded by cave homes, the castle truly dominates the already surreal looking landscape that is unique to Cappadocia.  Seriously, once you see this place, you will always recognize it in any photo you see.


We had no walking agenda in hand.  We basically meandered and explored.  There was no way to avoid the souvenir stands.  After two trips, I already have more than my fair share of souvenirs from Turkey so I was not remotely interested in checking anything out.


Our meandering took place on the back streets of Uçhisar.  We were quite a distance away from the center of town, where we had parked our car yesterday on our visit to the castle.  On our stroll today, we walked along cobblestone streets, passing the occasional shop, restaurant and hotel.  We even passed by a group of men gardening.  It was quiet as we were away from the tourist zone.  But, we were also nowhere near Pigeon Valley.




After a while, when we hadn't come across any sort of an interesting sight, we decided to leave.  It wasn't until I worked on this posting that I realized I hadn't taken a single photo of the neighborhood we had walked through - that's how uninspiring it was.  Oh well.

We picked up our pace.  Afternoon was about to ring in and we had to make it to Pigeon Valley.  Back in the car, I enabled Ms. Google so she could lead us to the valley.

Our drive took us on the road, heading out of Uçhisar, heading towards Derinkuyu.  We did pass a sign pointing the way to Pigeon Valley but we never saw a sign telling us exactly where to stop.  Bro spotted a large group of people hanging out at an overlook of sorts.  We decided to check it out so Bro parked the car.

As we neared the group, I noticed they were all 20-somethings.  Turns out they were gathered on the balcony of a hostel.  They were a boisterous lot as you would expect 20-somethings to be!

As we approached the edge of the overlook, I immediately recognized the view.  It was Pigeon Valley!  It's easily identifiable by the yellow colored striping on the rock face.  There are no fairy chimneys here but the rock formations are lovely - the rock face is more undulated.


We found a sunny spot to sit in to take in the view and enjoy a snack.


Of course, Bro is not one to sit long so we were soon on the move.


There was a narrow path leading down in to the valley.  We decided to follow it.

 We weren't the only ones exploring the area.  Three, very happy, women were just ahead of us.


As with everywhere else we've been to in Cappadocia, if you see a door or window carved in to the side of a hill, it means someone is living there.  We both wondered if the people who live in these places have to pay rent or fees of any sort or do they just camp out for free?



I love the yellow rock of Pigeon Valley.  If you look closely, you'll see it's lichen.



I swear, there's a gorgeous view every which way you look.



Pigeon Valley connects to White Valley and from where were were standing, we could see the phallic shaped fairy chimneys of White Valley.  Uçhisar Castle stood high and mighty in the background.


This was as close as we got to the valley floor.  I know that Bro would have enjoyed walking part of the way towards White Valley but without any sort of map in hand, I was afraid we would get lost.  So, we decided against hiking.  Besides, we had already seen the best views of both valleys from high above - Bro was certain the view wasn't going to be any better from the valley floor.


We continued on until we found the cave.  One quick photo and then it was back to the overlook.


The 20-somethings were still going loud and strong.  We took one last look at Pigeon Valley before leaving.


I can't believe it but our time in Cappadocia is nearly up.  Compared to its larger cousins, the Rose and White Valleys, Pigeon Valley is far smaller and the rock formations not as spectacular.  But, it is nonetheless, a very lovely place to come and enjoy a lovely view and if the day is nice, to enjoy a nice hike!  I'm glad we made it!