So, now that you're all caught up you know that in Honeyoon time we just finished our hot air balloon ride about an hour ago. Since I married the most active and adventurous man in the world, our day was only beginning! We took a shuttle back to our hotel and relaxed for about 45 minutes before we headed out in our sweet Volvo to hike Rose Valley. This hike was incredible and I enjoyed it much more than our Pigeon Valley hike because I was wearing actual hiking clothes instead of jeans. You guys, I can't even explain how beautiful Turkey is.
We saw so many churches and homes carved into the hillsides! If you look closely at the pictures with the area in the background you can see windows and doorways etched into the crevices. Here is a picture of Keith standing in a church. I was pretty in awe of all the paintings!
Keith took a picture from his perspective (above) of me (below) standing in front of the doorway to this church.
The amount of detail they were able to carve into the hillsides still astounds me. I also can't believe it has help up for hundreds upon hundreds of years!
At one point in history the people who lived in these hillside homes (I think they were Hittites but I could be v v wrong) were attacked by other people, and the attackers carved out the faces on every single painting in the churches.
Our hike was in a U-shape, so we didn't have to do any backtracking - thank God! Below is a picture where you can see one of the many ways I nearly died on our honeymoon,. There was a hill/cliff that you had to go down, and the only way to go down was to hold onto a rope and belay yourself down to the bottom! I have no idea how old this rope was, but it didn't feel very sturdy. It was pretty thin so it was hard to hold on to, and I was basically crying the entire way down. Keith was below to take pictures give me moral support, and we made sure I stopped on a ledge so he could photograph my precarious position!
I don't think it would be possible to climb up this hillside. Seriously, it was so steep and I still have nightmares about it!!
Here are some homes where you can see pigeon holes carved into the hillside! The rocks to get into these particular homes were too steep, so we didn't get to see the insides.
Here is a panoramic picture of a church.
There was one huge rock/mountain that had a concerning looking ladder leading up to the doorway. I opted to stand below while Keith explored. He barely made it to the doorway and found it had been locked. I was soooo disappointed...
There was one spot where there was this super random little market thing, where a lady was selling beverages beneath grapevines. This wagon was standing outside of it. I really wish we had gotten a picture of her store, but I guess the internet will just have to settle for the wagon.
Toward the end of the hike there were these rickety "stairways" that we had to climb. They were so slippery and steep! It took me a long time to make it up these stairs.
The Rose Valley Hike ended up being super beautiful and I really loved it. After the hike we drove through the old streets of Otahrisar and then went to another castle.
Anything other than the main roads was made up of cobblestones, which was really interesting to drive on. I have some videos of what it looked like driving on these old roads so if you're lucky maybe one day you'll get to see that.
We decided to go to the top of Otarhisar Castle (its name means "Middle Castle") and look out over Turkey. YOU GUYS. This was SO SCARY. The stairs to get to the top of the castle were STEEP and SLIPPERY! I was wearing Toms which have zero traction and I was almost crying every time we had to go down some stairs.
Here we are once we'd reached the middle of the castle. You can already see the amazing view behind us, and in the very background you can see Uchisar Castle, where we'd already been.
What, you don't mess around with your selfie stick in the Middle East?
The above picture was the middle of the castle. There were signs saying we weren't allowed to go to the top of the castle. Apparently a few years ago somebody had gone to the top and had either died falling from the top or fallen trying to get to the top, so they were just playing it safe and not letting anybody get close to the top.
We saw some people looking guilty as they descended the top of the castle. We went up to them and asked if they'd made it to the top and they whispered what I thought was, "Yes, but be careful. There are guards patrolling up there." Naturally this made Keith feel like we just HAD to make it to the top.
WE CLEARLY WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO CROSS THIS GATE but Keith told me I had to. I was nervous but pretended like I was fine.
When we got to the top, we didn't find guards. We found "two girls." They were setting off those balloons like in Tangled. The view from the top was so beautiful! I'm glad we disobeyed everything and made it up there.
Coming down was NOT fun.
This was a view of the castle we ascended (not legally) from another point in the city. Look at all those homes!
The last thing we did was go back toward our hotel and visit "Sunset Point" in Cappadocia. Keith had read amazing things about this online, and I'll admit we were a little disappointed by the views. It was beautiful, but not what we were expecting.
The best part was that there were feral cats roaming all around, and one of them wandered up to us and sat in Keith's lap! Probably didn't give him any diseases. While we were sitting there with the cat Keith promised me that eventually we would get our own cat and that basically made our entire trip worth it.
After the sunset, we got a much needed dinner. This is only mentionable because Keith ordered a "meat stew" which ended up being mostly stewed tomatoes with a little bit of meat thrown in. Keith HATES tomatoes. Like, he thinks they're poison. I can't remember what I ordered but it was AMAZING and I was forced to share with my husband because when you get married you vow to share your meals for life.
Whenever I post the next portion of our trip it will be of Istanbul. It will be almost a year after the fact. I SUCK. SORRY.