Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 164 - Hiking to Uchisar Castle

While exploring Cappadocia for the past few days, I noticed one region in particular in the distance that was a lot higher in altitude than any other areas. I wondered what it was since I wanted to reach the top to get the best panoramic views. It happened to be Uchisar Castle or Landlord's Castle on top of a hill in the city of Uchisar. Zack and I set out around noontime on a hike to get there, since it was only supposed to take about an hour to walk there through Pigeon Valley. There are many hiking trails that tourists could take from Goreme to other areas, and I assumed we'd be able to just find any randomly marked trail to get there.

It ended up taking us around 2 hours to get there, as we walked along the top of a hill and noted that we needed to cross over 2 more hills to get to Uchisar. I guess we were taking the "off-the beaten path" trail to get there. It was a little more strenuous than I expected, but we were able to see some orchards and grape vines along the way, eating some of the sun-ripened grapes from the neglected 2nd harvest. They were perfectly sweet, nothing like what you would find in a raisin box at the grocery store.

It was a challenge to get to Uchisar as we were forced to find the safest paths to cross since there were so many walking paths in all directions, but we finally made it to the city. The tower at the top was an old castle and is the highest point in the vicinity. Again, another stunning sight to behold, enough so that I didn't think it would be worth it spend beaucoup bucks on a hot air balloon ride, since I had 360 degree views of everything right where I was!

Afterwards, we headed back to Goreme, figuring out what the best trail would be the best to take through the valleys while we were on top of the castle. And again, it took way longer than expected to get back. The maps that the tour offices gave us showed only one trail to take through the valleys, so we expected that we wouldn't have to make any choices that would steer us into unknown territory. There were numerous trails that led to different valleys, and again, we ended up in the wrong valley and stuck at a dead end on top of a cliff without any way to move forward. We ended up having to rock climb a little up and over some of the rock formations to get to a valley where we could move towards Goreme. It was still the wrong valley...but luckily it still led us to Goreme right after sunset. Success..., but it took way longer than expected.

Sun-Ripened Grapes/Raisins

Dinner with Zack and Junko at the Top Deck Restaurant


  1. I came to your site through Junko's CS profile. Great blog and photos! How do you manage to blog every day? Happy travels mate.

  2. thanks Brandon! it's quite a task to blog everyday, but I try to type out each entry whenever I get a chance, even when I don't have internet access. Then copy and paste it to this site, all while going through my daily photos to pick the best for each entry