Today, I woke up in bed to the sight of hot air balloons rising up to the sky on my window. It was really magical and it was the best morning sight I ever saw till now. After my breakfast, I got ready to go out for my red tour adventure.
I had booked this red door from a tour agency in Airbnb. The travel was in a Mercedes-Benz van and there were about 8 travelers from different parts of the world.
Our first stop was a viewpoint near the Uchisar rock castle. The amazing rock formations and the landscape was a great treat to the eyes. We didn’t get to enter the Uchisar castle as it was not included in our itinerary.
The Uchisar castle is about 60 meters in height and is one of the biggest rock castles in the region. There was also a little abandoned cave room in the area. I entered and explored it a bit. It was surprisingly very cool.
Our next stop was a panoramic viewpoint of the fairy chimneys and the Goreme town. There was also a fully furnished cave house in that area and we were able to check it out.
The cave room was so cool and comfortable. It had everything that you expect in a modern apartment, including electricity, washing machine kitchen and more.
Our tour guide gave a brief history about the cave rooms and how tourism affected the region of Cappadocia. As a result of tourism the locals in Cappadocia and Goreme were displaced and many of these cave rooms are now sold for no less than millions of dollars.
After that, we went to the Ozkonak underground city. This underground city is over 10 floors deep and could house up to 60,000 people. Such underground cities were used by the Christians in the region to seek protection during the Arab raids.
These underground cities are definitely not for people who are claustrophobic or fat. Most travelers in my group were afraid to go into these tunnels but I was very excited and I took the risk. It was a pretty fun experience and I would highly recommend it if you want some adrenaline rush.
By this time it was already noon and we were taken to a cave hotel for lunch. The lunch was included in the cost of the trip and we didn’t have to pay extra.
The lunch was pretty okay and the cave hotel was nothing special to be honest.
After the lunch, our next stop was a pot making store called Bayankus. They demonstrated the art of making pot and it was a fun experience to watch.
We also got to have a peek at the employees working at the shop. They were painting the pots. This store was a tourist trap in our trip but regardless it is a nice store with some beautiful pots.
Our next stop was the imagination valley. There were a bunch of frogs that resembled the shape of rabbits, camels and other human shapes.
Overall, the imagination valley was a bit underwhelming experience., especially in the extreme summer heat. Anyways, I think this would be a good spot for hiking and I would love to explore it more during winter.
Next, we went to the Pasabag valley. There were some pretty tall fairy chimneys
in this valley. Unfortunately, the time given for us there was very limited and I was feeling too tired in the summer heat there and I didn’t have the energy to explore it properly.
Our final stop was the Goreme Open Air Museum. This open air museum contains a complex of churches, cut into the rocks. The paintings related to Jesus and Christianity are still visible in many of these churches.
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take videos or photos inside the church.
There are quite a number of paintings that are quite interesting, yeah, rules are rules, but I managed to take some shots. 😉
Overall, the Red Tour was a bit underwhelming and difficult, mostly because of the extremely hot climate. I think these valleys are best explored during winter months when it is cool in the daytime.
I am definitely visiting Goreme again to explore these valleys and chimneys in detail during winter.