|The drive north into Cappadocia saw the temperatures plummet from 41C to 25C in some areas which made the going much easier.
Although not the coolest of locations a stop in Kayseri for lunch was perfect. This was a pretty town through which a light-rail system ran along a grassed alley lined with green hedging. It looked absolutely fantastic and very safe for traffic and travellers.
Our hotel was in Avanos and once again was in an old stone building this time positioned close to the river that flowed through the town. We put in some time on the willow tree lined 'river walk' which passed by cafe's and parks. A really pretty area of the town which is the most renowned for producing terracotta pottery in all of Cappadocia.
Assyrians and then Hittites are credited with the craft as early as 2000BC.
Wine making is a big deal in the area but buying some in a restaurant is rare and expensive.
Fairy Chimneys and town ruins were on our to-do list and they were spectacular. The Zelve Open Air Museum comprised an important Christian settlement and religious centre used between the 9th and 13th Centuries. It was great to explore the cave dwellings which provided protection to the inhabitants from Roman persecutors.
The remains of Cavusin Village showed the damage caused by a land-slide which required the evacuation of it's inhabitants as recently as 1950. It's amazing that people actually lived in those cave houses as late as that year.
In much better condition was the early 13th C Saruhan Caravanserai. Positioned on what was the old Silk Road it provided sanctuary for traders and camel train operators including their animals. Partly restored and partly original, this place was incredible.
Climbing down into the remains of the Ozkonak Underground City was something a little different.
That subterranean complex went ten floors deep and catered to as many as 60,000 people. After experiencing just three underground levels we were more than happy not to go down further.
We were quite happy to explore the nearby Belha Cave monastery carved into sheer rock and dating back to the 4th C AD. Consisting of a church, a dining room, a cellar, kitchens, living rooms, a meeting hall and burial chambers it was huge and dark. We needed our iPhone flashlights.