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. We have been Achmet’s only clients at Panorama Camping for almost 2 weeks. Between the roadworks outside the campsite and the odd bombing and shooting of Police in Turkey he is obviously worried about business. Anyway he and his wife and two children couldn’t do enough for us and his Mum cooks a delicious pide.
About 20 klms later we drive into Kaymakli. Now everything I know about the Hittites’ comes from Cecil B. De Millel movies. 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.
I’ll give Pam some credit, it’s very claustrophobic down there. The underground city at Kaymakli descent to 8 levels, of which only 4 are open to the public. Luckily we where there relatively early on only one bus load of tourists had arrived in front of us.
Fortunately it was a bus load of Germans, rather than Koreans. I mentioned the war once, but I think I got away with it. It was much better than 40 Koreans with their selfie sticks I can assure you.
Once we were inside I explained to Pam the red arrow direct you down and the blue arrow directs you back up. My whole credibility was lost at this point. The Hittites establish their underground community in Kaymakli in 400 bc, which is rather impressive. Obviously it’s much cooler underground. But it’s all about defence from invasion.
Stone doors like this one, are still waiting in position all through the city.
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. They expanded and refined the city adding churches and air-conditioning shafts.
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. Back on the surface it’s seems hard to imagine 3-4000 people living done there.
It’s another long drive today, from Kaymakli we head south west out of Cappadocia and into Anatolia. For the next 300 kilometres it’s flat arid country, not all that different to far western NSW. After passing through Konya we enter the mountains again and suddenly a lake appears on our left. We drive seeing it from time to time for the next 50 kilometres. Then into the mountains again, as we descent again we see Lake Egirdir for the first time.
Surrounded by mountains Lake Egirdir is Turkey’s second largest. It’s deep, blue and much cooler here than the dry plans of Anatolia.
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. Later as we are leaving an old lady walks over to the camper and presents us with some grapes and walnuts. We have never seen a walnut in its fruit before, amazing ! The people in Turkey are very friendly and often seem to go out of their way to help you.
Egirdir itself is the local market town, has a couple of supermarkets and all the usual shops. Lots of small fishing boats sit around the marina.
The village and the parks are very neat and tidy. There is a feeling that people are proud of the place. This is missing from so many villages we have passed or stopped during our travels in Turkey. Where litter seem to be everywhere.
Anyway we find a free parking spot next door to the marine rescue base. I asked them if it would be alright to stop the night and they say ‘no problem’. We find a fish monger and nice fruit shop just up the way. So it fish on the BBQ tonight. As it’s cooler here, hopefully a good sleep as well.
Michael and Pam