Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Touring Turkey - The Kayamkli Underground City

Have you ever spent a few moments thinking, "No way! How did they do THAT?" Well, that was me for about three days in Cappadocia, and I think it was repeating this phrase the most when we visited the Kaymakli Underground City, essentially a labryinth of underground livable spaces.

There are over 100 underground tunnels that were constructed on a relatively steep incline. If you have any issues walking or are claustrophobic, I'd suggest passing on this part of a trip to Cappadocia. You'll see what I'm talking about below.

Apparently up to 2,000 people could live there for almost 2 months without having to come above ground. They and their horses (There were STABLES!) had all of the amenities possible with them and found ways to survive invasions that forced them underground. My dearest early Cappadocians, you are no joke. PROPS!!!

I have no idea how the early Cappadocians actually constructed these spaces. Adem, our guide from Heritage Travel, said that there were no engineers, no planning, no nothing (maybe he was being dramatic?). Half the time I can barely figure out how to put together a piece of Ikea furniture (or HTML, but that's another topic) much less just figure out how to make an entire underground world.

Wanna see?

Adem, our guide from Heritage Travel, giving us some basic facts. He was a great guide: super funny and taught us a lot about Turkish culture. We had a great conversation about the NBA. The Turks love basketball.

I have to admit that I forget if this was a living room or what. Nice built-in shelves though.

I don't remember what this is exactly, but many of these rooms were used for storage. Could you use a stone basket?

The Cappadocians were smart and didn't make it particular easy to get around the caves. Many of the passageways are narrow, and sometimes it required moving stones like these to even get into the next room (makes me appreciative of my door, Thankyouverymuch!!)
A door...more like a big 'ol rock!

The Cappadocians made sure to build just what they needed for short term living.

A makeshift huge mortar + pestle in the kitchen. It has been darkened by smoke.

Like I said above, the passageways here are narrow and sometimes steep. Plus, the rooms themselves are quite...snug.

Walking down to the lower floor. Close quarters!

Husband J had to bend down to take this pic. If you're over 6 feet, I suspect that you would be keeled over.

No room to even extend your arms upward! Please excuse the crazy eyes! ;)

So are you scratching your head, too? Could you, your family, and your HORSE live underground for a month? :)

1 comment:

BigAppleNosh said...

Whoa! That would definitely take some getting used to!


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