Michael and Pam's Travels

The Underground City and Lake Egirdir, Turkey. 2015

Travelled: 500 klms from Goreme, Cappadocia to Egirdir, Anatolia
Visited: The Underground City of Kaymakhi, TL20 entry.
Stayed: The Marina, Egirdir. Free no services. But a view to die for. Another PJ Camping, N37.876780, E30.855450

 

We say goodbye to Achmet and his family and turn south Kaymakli. ย We have been Achmet’s only clients at Panorama Camping for almost 2 weeks. ย Between the roadworks outside the campsite and the odd bombing and shooting of Police in Turkey he is obviously worried about business. ย Anyway he and his wife and two children couldn’t do enough for us and his Mum cooks a delicious pide.

 

Get Directions

 

About 20 klms later we drive into Kaymakli. ย Now everything I know about the Hittites’ comes from Cecil B. De Millel movies. ย I remember the 10 Commandments, although Pam can only remember the first seven, but as you know she falls asleep half way through most movies, especially anything on TV.

 

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I’ll give Pam some credit, it’s very claustrophobic down there. ย The underground city at Kaymakli descent to 8 levels, of which only 4 are open to the public. ย Luckily we where there relatively early on only one bus load of tourists had arrived in front of us.

 

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Fortunately it was a bus load of Germans, rather than Koreans. ย I mentioned the war once, but I think I got away with it. ย It was much better than 40 Koreans with their selfie sticks I can assure you.

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Once we were inside I explained to Pam the red arrow direct you down and the blue arrow directs you back up. ย My whole credibility was lost at this point. ย The Hittites establish their underground community in Kaymakli in 400 bc, which is rather impressive. ย Obviously it’s much cooler underground. ย But it’s all about defence from invasion.

 

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Stone doors like this one, are still waiting in position all through the city.

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Having been abandoned by the Hittites during the Roman conquests, the city was again occupied by the Byzentine Christians during the 6-7th century to escape the Persians. ย They expanded and refined the city adding churches and air-conditioning shafts.

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Interestingly none of the signs indicated how the ablutions were managed.

Anyway an elderly German man in the group in front of us appears to be having a panic attack and everything grinds to a halt, so we decide that’s enough and make our way out. ย Back on the surface it’s seems hard to imagine 3-4000 people living done there.

 

Get Directions

 

It’s another long drive today, from Kaymakli we head south west out of Cappadocia and into Anatolia. ย For the next 300 kilometres it’s flat arid country, not all that different to far western NSW. ย After passing through Konya we enter the mountains again and suddenly a lake appears on our left. ย We drive seeing it from time to time for the next 50 kilometres. ย Then into the mountains again, as we descent again we see Lake Egirdir for the first time.

 

Get Directions

 

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Surrounded by mountains Lake Egirdir is Turkey’s second largest. It’s deep, blue and much cooler here than the dry plans of Anatolia.

 

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We stopped by the roadside to take in the vista, when we see a group of woman working in the orchard only a few metres away. We give them a wave and say hello. ย Later as we are leaving an old lady walks over to the camper and presents us with some grapes and walnuts. ย We have never seen a walnut in its fruit before, amazing ! ย The people in Turkey are very friendly and often seem to go out of their way to help you.

 

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Egirdir itself is the local market town, has a couple of supermarkets and all the usual shops. ย Lots of small fishing boats sit around the marina.

 

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The village and the parks are very neat and tidy. ย There is a feeling that people are proud of the place. ย This is missing from so many villages we have passed or stopped during our travels in Turkey. ย Where litter seem to be everywhere.

 

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Anyway we find a free parking spot next door to the marine rescue base. ย I asked them if it would be alright to stop the night and they say ‘no problem’. ย We find a fish monger and nice fruit shop just up the way. So it fish on the BBQ tonight. ย As it’s cooler here, hopefully a good sleep as well.

 

Michael and Pam

 

3 thoughts on “The Underground City and Lake Egirdir, Turkey. 2015

  1. Denice

    Hi Guys, just love the blog…makes me laugh every time I read it….you definitely have a flair & a way with words. Pam, I was driving down Foxall Rd in Kellyville today & the equestrian centre where we used to have riding lessons is gone….yep all bull dozed, nothing but dirt there now. I bet if I drive down there again in a few weeks time there’ll be a housing estate going up…..I nearly ran off the road..couldn’t believe my eyes. Safe travelling..Cheers Denice

  2. jeni

    I am not surprised that anyone would have a panic attack down there! I guess that given it has been around for many centuries it is probably pretty stable. Pretty amazing that thousands of people lived that way!

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