Sneaking Into Zelve Part One

Our early morning balloon ride over the Cappadocia landscape was such an amazing and unique experience. Even more broadly Cappadocia itself is a one of a kind place to visit that I recommend to anyone looking for a great place to explore.

EarlyMorningBalloon

The views from the balloon were breathtaking. After seeing what all the landscape of the area had to offer who wouldn’t want to throw on some hiking shoes and go explore?

SwaleTexture

Two days later Leah, Natalie and I made our way out to the same area we floated over and began our hike from the town of Çavusin. The small town borders the edge of Göreme National Park and is very close to Rose Valley, a popular destination for many. We had our hopes high with the plan of making it to the top of Aktepe mountain located just northwest of Göreme.

AktepeMountain
There was no defined trail head so we trudged through town until we came across a carved out path that lined the back of the cave dwellings seen below.

cavusin_cappadociaThe hike: slow and easy. The weather: clear and sunny. And the trail: lined with amazing rock formations, stone houses, churches, and pigeon holes.

RockFormations

Mansion

As we wrapped around the middle of the mountain we traveled through the upper portion of Rose Valley. The soil beneath our feet also began to get softer as we moved higher up passed different “layers” of the mountain. The further we climbed, the steeper the plateau became and eventually we reached a vertical face. We scanned back and forth for the safe way up and settled on face with relatively nice “pathway.”

Upon reaching the top we took a break, had a few Kremali cookies, water, Leah and Natalie did some yoga as we enjoyed the resonating sound of the call to prayer from all the surrounding towns in the valley.

AktepePeak

 After, we explored the top of the of the plateau, which looked more like rolling grassy plains stretching end to end almost an entire mile. Upon reaching each edge of the plateau we got snap shots of a few sites we had visited a couple days prior. Zelve, the open air museum being one of them. One of our favorites, we knew there was no way we were going back the way we came. We sat down for a few brief moments, thought of the best way down, and began our hike down into Zelve…

ZelvePano

 

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