Cappadocia Day 3

Our final day here and we were ready to make the most of it.  Unfortunately the threatening clouds outside had other plans.  Thankfully they did not thwart our energy and we began our day just like any other.  Traditional Turkish fare for breakfast, pack the water bottles and camera and hit the road.

Driving down the rainy road we made a quick stop for a fabulous photo opp in Devrent Valley.  Here, as you can see in the photo below, the erosion has created formations that resemble animals, people or anything else your imagination could conjure up.  Thing 2 and Thing 4 were set on braving the slippery slopes to have a better view so I ventured with them.  So glad I did.

Avanos open air market and pottery shops were first on the agenda.  This town is located on the Red River which makes for excellent soil and thus pottery.  The Things had their hearts set on making their own creations and that is exactly what we did.  After wandering through the market and listening to the locals we strolled down an empty street to find Ahmet's pottery workshop.  He kindly invited us in and the Things spotted the pottery wheel right away.  Without hesitation they all had their turn and channeled their artistic side.  Take a look.

After our cay we took our creations and were on our way.  Trying to beat the rain we enjoyed a delicious lunch, albeit rather quickly, and then were off for Pashabagi.  Here Christian monks established vineyards and created churches in the three tiered fairy chimnies.  It is breathtaking.  The Things climbed and explored and then we happened upon one of the churches.  There are beautifully carved crosses at every niche and Thing 2 decided to scale the rocks and see what we were missing from the ground.  Husband Jared joined her, brave souls.  The rest of us chose to stay grounded and simply look up.  Either way, there was a sense of something greater at this site. 
With the rain once again threatening to cut our day short we travelled to the town of Goreme.  Which ironically when translated means, "can't see".  Funny when you are standing at a point and looking out over the valley and you can "see" and not just see but really take in an amazing view of creation.  Wow.  We payed our entrance to the open air museum and walked from church to church.  It is noted as the location of some of the most important Byzantine cave churches.  All with different names.  All with amazing frescoes, some better kept than others, due to light and exposure and of course caretaking.  Photographs are not allowed inside the churches but the memory of the paintings will forever be with us.  And then the rain came.  It didn't just rain, it was a down pour complete with thunder and lightening.  We all ducked in one of the churches to escape the deluge and it was there we heard singing.  In English, Allelujah!  Wow.  It sent chills to my core.  What a sound, what a sight.  When the rain didn't stop the six of us went running down hill to our van, becoming soaked along the way.  We all had flashbacks of our trip to Pamukkale which made us laugh, thankfully. 
Before the rain, the beginning of our hike

Our day was not over just yet and we tried our best to dry out in the van.  To no avail though, the rain kept coming and the Things were shivering.  We had two stops left and we all did our best to take in the view, capture the moment with a photograph and then run back to warmness.  First was Pigeon Valley.  This is an incredible valley in which dovecotes were built into the rock to gather the guano.  The villagers believe that it is the best fertilizer for the local soil.  Supposedly the pigeon "poop" as the Things referred to it prohibits weed growth.  Who knew? 
Dovecotes in Pigeon Valley

Lastly, the famous fairy chimnies.  The ones pictured in all the guide books.  Our driver was creative and took control of the situation asking Thing 4 to jump in front.  Take a look at this photo, love it.  Only wish we would have done that with all the Things.

So strong!

We returned to our cave hotel, dried off, took warm showers and spent the rest of the evening cuddling and watching a movie and playing cards, while enjoying local pide.  Knowing we needed to rise early to catch our flights the next morning the night ended with the usual routine and sharing highs and lows of the trip.  My favorite.  

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