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Writer: Ayça Olcaytu İşçen
August 2008

Peribacası Magazine organized the “1st Close Friends Trip” between 17 and 19 May 2008. This trip was very mind blowing because after many years we caught the chance of visiting Cappadocia but doing nothing as well as sharing the beauty of the region with our close friends and their children between the age of 2 and 11 years old.

During our trip Ali (11), who have a dream of having a flight in a balloon for one year; Cemre (6) who does not go to bed without examining once again the first issue of our magazine every night; Ilgaz (2), Cemre’s brother and who get bored living in the close areas; Selim (8), who is a generatic station and his sympathic brother Cem (4) as well as Belgi (6) our smart nephew who is always curious about our life in Cappadocia; were with us. One of the major aims of this trip was to enable the children to learn about and to love Cappadocia. Therefore on the second day of the program we organized a valley trekking. We were planning to enter Bağlıdere Valley from Uçhisar and leave the valley near Göreme-Avanos road. Of course it was possible to start the valley from Göreme-Avanos road even cross some parts by off-road vehicles or by ATV but since the children were with us we decided to start the valley from Uçhisar.
On 18th May 2008, after the early morning flight in a balloon, we hit the road with 18 people. In this period of the year, the most suitable hours to have valley trekking is early in the morning. We parked some of the cars close to the exit of Bağlıdere Valley, where you can reach by following Göreme-Avanos road and turn left just before Çavuşin and drive 100 m. The rest of the cars were parked in the parking area of Özler Center where you can reach by taking Göreme-Uçhisar road and turning right just before reaching Uçhisar.
After 200 m from Özler Center the road is divided into two. We took the road which has the sign of ‘Bağlıdere-4100 m’ and approximately after 150 m we were able to reach the valley by following the straight ascent on the left. The other road, wider and circuiting the valley from the top normally is being preferred by the mountain bikers. As we finished carefully the ascent which is partly greasy, we stopped for a while to watch our award, the white slope which looks like candy floss (this part of the valley is also know as White Valley) and to try to answer the questions of the children. Belgi asked “why these shapes are white? Do we have the pink as well?” Selim and Ali were looking for a cave for themselves; even they were ready to accept a pigeonhole because it was enough for them to climb and to look into the holes. Cemre was mostly interested in the flora and she was decisive to imprint them on her memory.
All the valleys of Cappadocia were once water course, Bağlıdere Valley is one of them as well, and water created the short tunnels on the valley and these were enough to satisfy the adventurous side of the children. We continued our trekking in a comfortable tempo together with sweet sun light, flowers, green leaves, shaking trees, flying butterflies and songs of the birds. The more happiness the children had and not complaining of walking through the valley, the more happiness the parents had although they were ready to be the carrier of their kids. Towards the noon, we had a short break with the nuts, fruits, biscuits and drinks in our bags under the shade of a big tree. 
As we arrived to the last part called ‘Love Valley’ the part of Bağlıdere Valley where the fairy chimneys are intense and attractive we had a long break in order to take photos and try to understand the observation of the children. Selim, who has a great interest in pirates since his babyhood, thought that there should be a big treasury in Cappadocia moreover, he searched for the treasury. The sportsman Ali, who loves to climb, enjoyed the freedom by preferring mostly to walk on perpendicular roads. Belgi and Cemre designed a shape as they gathered their hands above their heads and they called it “let’s become a fairy chimney”. “I will never forget this place”, the emotional and romantic sentence of Belgi replied with the sentence of Cemre; “I wish I could live in Cappadocia then I would have the chance of seeing fairy chimneys everyday”. The comments of the children, full of with deep philosophy, were the indicator that the trip reached its aim. The elders in the team were agreed on one certain idea; the valleys of Cappadocia should be passed through once in every season. As we reached to the point where we have left our cars, we realized that we spent almost 3.5 hours for the whole trekking. On the way to the hotel, the subject of the conversation was obvious; which valley would be the destination of the next trip to Cappadocia.

Note: This article has been published in Peribacası Cappadocia Culture and Publicity Magazine, August 2008 issue. It is under protection of the copyrights of the magazine. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner.


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