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Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia Temporarily Out of Bounds

Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia Temporarily Out of Bounds

Old Jan 28th, 2012, 04:02 AM
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Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia Temporarily Out of Bounds

The largest national daily, Hurriyet reported today that Ihlara Valley is closed off to protect hikers and sightseers from falling rocks. The authorities have not yet given any dates for the completion of the protective measures.

It was not clear whether this was a temporary situation due to recent heavy rains and snowfall which should disappear when the weather improves or whether it is a result of undermining of some of the cliffs, extensive erosion, or a newly discovered risk of landslides which may require longer to handle.

But, do not let this put you off. There are still many other places to visit in Cappadocia where you can see the names of previous Fodors posters like Adu and Cold carved in gold letters, Veni-Vidi, half an inch high. (you really have to search for them very carefully).
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 04:32 AM
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That's unfortunate, otherchelebi. We spent a day hiking in the Ihlara Valley marveling at its breathtaking beauty. But you're right; this shouldn't put anyone off. There are many other amazing sights in Cappadocia to amaze visitors!
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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OC..good news/bad news...good that the condition has been dioscovered and work is being done to cure it. Bad news that the site is closed )temporarily). One of my fondest memories of Cap is a hike through the canyon alongside the rushing river, stopping to see the frescoed caves along the way. I'll scan through my pics to see if I can post an overview of the valley here.

Hope you and the family are well and that you're as ornery as ever (according to young Adu..you may have read where he, Andrea and her two sisters met me for a joyous mini-GTG here in L.A.)

Stu
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 08:15 AM
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OC...

I hope this coms out clearly...great view of the valley.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...Fm0?feat=email
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 09:09 AM
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Stu, I could see some rocks in your photo as well. Except for the colours, the photo came out beautiful on my screen.

The whole ornery family, is now so experienced at being ornery that they do not know any better and are moving alomg.

I did try to dissuade Adu from going to the West coast, but to no avail. I guess i could have used the falling rocks excuse as well. I am glad they were not too much for you and that he did not say that they could have had a better time if they did not have to visit with you. Truely wish we could have joined the lot of you.

Maybe next time, if "the sky does not fall".
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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Tower, gorgeous photo.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Peg..here are some of m,y selected pics around Turkey, pre-digital. You can enlarge by clicking on pic and then the magnifyting glass icon..move pic around with mouse.
https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...cenesOfTurkey#

stu (L.A.)
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7622933537559/
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 10:43 PM
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Thanks for the information, otherchelebi!

I've allocated the better part of a day of my upcoming trip to Turkey for a visit to the Ihlara Valley - I hope it's open again by then! (Or that word of its continued closure allows me to change my reservations as necessary in a timely way....)
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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Although I can’t attest to the accuracy of the information, I recently heard that the closure of Ihlara Valley is expected to last at least 3 more months.

I am currently working on the assumption that it is unlikely that I will be able to visit the Ihlara Valley on my upcoming trip to Turkey, and so I have been trying to identify alternatives.

For context, I expect to visit the Goreme and probably Zelve Open Air Museums and at least one of the valleys near Goreme, perhaps the Zemi or Devrent Valley. I had been interested in the Ihlara Valley because (according to what I’ve read) it combines several features: (a) rock-cut churches in a range of styles from Coptic-inspired to Byzantine, painted by monks rather than artists, (b) impressive natural scenery, including the cliff walls, river, and trees and other vegetation, (c) glimpses of ongoing rural life, (d) the length of the hike, which I assumed would be 3 or 4 hours (counting numerous stops) from Ihlara to Belisirma—I don’t want anything longer than that, (e) enough visitors that I would likely be seen or found if I injured myself (unlikely, but as a solo traveler who did once fall, it is something I consider), and (f) a transportation option through lodging in Guzelyurt that would allow me to avoid back-tracking through the valley to my starting point. (The chance to seek gold-lettered graffiti marking the passage of illustrative Fodorites was, of course, also a central draw, but I trust otherchelebi when he says I can experience that elsewhere.)

What options should I consider as an alternative to the Ihlara Valley, either from Goreme or Guzelyurt?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Stu and Michael – do you know where you were when you took your stunning photos? Even if I can’t hike through the valley, I think I’d enjoy savoring it from an overlook.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 10:20 PM
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The overlook is at the entrance of the valley, that is, the entrance which requires 365 steps to get to the bottom. It's near the town at the head of the valley. The valley does not contain the strange formations seen elsewhere in Cappadocia.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Yes Michael..that would be the place..even if kja can't go any further, I recall standing at the overlook and shhoting the photo. Once down the stairs, I was able to walk along the rushing river to visit several of the fresco'ed caves. There was at the time a restaurant with a favorable view at the other end of the aforesaid overlook.

Have a great trip kja..
stu
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 02:44 AM
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Here's a (stitched panoramic) photo I took from the road from Güzelyurt just outside of Ihlara village:
http://www.herostratics.com/Stuff/IhlaraValley1.jpg
Taken about here - http://wikimapia.org/#lat=38.2448708...8&z=16&l=0&m=b
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Croesus....outstanding panoramic!. I'm surprised that so many tourists who visit the lunar landscapes of Cap..but neglect or never hear or read about Ihlara Valley.

Kja..I'll be rooting for you to find Ihlara open again before you get there! Just a word of warning..it's always possible that you will in fact be alone while walking in the "canyon" along the river to visit the fresco'ed churches...we were, with not a soul in sight.
Stu
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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We drove in from the other side, via a small little hamlet.

It was august, the scenery was brown, we start down into the valley, greener as we go, the trees, the shade, the little stream...it was our oasis. We had lunch on a platform over the creek.

I will admit to be really annoyed at the graffiti in some of the cave churches. How anyone can think of doing something like that.

Recommended to all, once it is open again
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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The overlook is nice, but unless one can visit the chapels in the canyon itself, I would skip it if time is an issue.
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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But, do not let this put you off. There are still many other places to visit in Cappadocia where you can see the names of previous Fodors posters like Adu and Cold carved in gold letters, Veni-Vidi, half an inch high. (you really have to search for them very carefully).
_____

To save money when viisted Turkey we stayed in a cave and when Other would not feed us I carved in the soft rock, "I Came, I Saw, I'm Hungry."

Cappadocia and Other's hospitality were the highlights of our trip. (Even though Other's wife hid in the closet because she was afraid of us.)

Here are a few more shots of Turkey, the fireworks are from Other's balcony (really).

https://picasaweb.google.com/1135238...11555/WATurkey

https://picasaweb.google.com/1135238...CM2u9MTp0p3BGg
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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The chapels were fascinating, but what made the walk through the canyon so special to me (aside from the stunning scenery) was watching people fish and farm along the stream. With the Selime fortress at one end and Güzelyurt with its mosque at the other, I would recommend a drive over to the Ilhara area.
You may want to check out Soganli valley also
http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/g...nli/index.html
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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My impression is that the "monastery valley" that begins at the base of Güzelyurt might connect to the Ihlara Valley but is not the same. At any rate, the trail from Güzelyurt is rough and not well marked.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...57622933537559
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Once again, I am indebted to an incredible group of Fodorites!

You’ve all affirmed my hopes to visit the Ihlara Valley, but if it isn’t open again when I’m there, at least I will have seen it vicariously through all of you. And much as I would like to see it in person, I’d rather not do so from the bottom of a rock fall! I sincerely appreciate that responsible officials are taking steps to ensure safety and secure the sites. And I’m fortunate to know that it is likely to be closed far enough in advance to think through my options.

The alternative that I’ve heard mentioned most often is one yorkshire mentioned – Soganli Valley. Any comments?

Michael – thanks for the information about where you took that stunning view over the Ihlara Valley and for your opinion that I might skip the overlook if time is precious. And particular thanks for mentioning the “monastery valley” and sharing your beautiful pictures – it looks so incredibly inviting! I’ll check with my lodging in Guzelyurt for more information; even a short walk there seems very appealing. Your stunning pictures have also convinced me to stop in Mustafapasha, which I had thought I might skip. Thanks for the inspiration! (And as for the Turkish Naturel Organic … Market – LOL! For a moment, I thought I found the perfect place to shop for the men - and maybe some women - on my list, but then realized it looked closed. Sigh.)

Stu – thanks for identifying where you took your stunning view and for the good wishes. Even if I am unable to visit the Ihlara Valley, I know I’m going to have a fabulous time in Turkey – how could I not?!? Now that I've finished the painful process of crossing places off my wish list, I'm able to focus on all the wonderful and amazing things I'm going to have the joy of experiencing. What a great trip its going to be! And thanks, too, for the reminder that I might end up not seeing any one else even if I do go to the Ihlara Valley. I will trust that the likelihood of an incapaciting injury is infinitesimal, and I will, of course, take appropriate precautions (like carrying a small first aid kit and making sure my lodging knows my plans). At least I no longer take the ridiculous risks I took in my youth! (BTW, from what I can tell, Hotels & Highways haven't announced their next tour. Please let me know when they'll be returning to my corner of the country - I'm looking forward to hearing them again.)

Croesus – thanks for you stunning panoramic view and the aerial view of the location from which you took it - wow! BTW, you had expressed interest in the Hotel Karvalli’s offerings for transportation to the Ihlara Valley. Its currently 25 euro to get there and back, and 15 euro for one-way transport – if the guest has a car, they will lead the person to where s/he wants to end his/her walk, where s/he leaves his/her car, and then they drive him/her to the place from which s/he will start hiking. That way, the person can hike at his/her leisure, without worrying about having to meet anyone at a particular time. Thanks again for recommending that hotel – I’m looking forward to spending a couple of nights there!

Michel_Paris – thanks for sharing your memories of Ihlara. I love the image of moving from drying, brown to lush, green vegetation. Seems an all-too-fitting metaphor for my vacations!

Aduchamp1 – LOL! I’ll look for your "I Came, I Saw, I'm Hungry"
 message. When I find it, I’ll stop for a picnic and will savor every bite. Think of it as my way of honoring you. And thanks for sharing your photos. I’m not sure how you got that last one of your “Spring Show” series – the one of me – but its nice to be able to visualize myself in Turkey.

Yorkshire – Your words capture the kinds of images that I hope to see, whether in the Ihlara Valley or elsewhere. And thank you so much for mentioning the Soganli Valley - that’s what the staff of my lodging in Goreme recommended as an alternative. Did you visit it?
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