Trip to Turkey
Susan Anderson and Margaret Keiley
March 15 to 29, 2004
Part 1: Istanbul to Bolu to Cappadocia

Margaret and I left Philadelphia for Istanbul, Turkey, via Frankfort on Monday, March 16, 2004. With a quick purchase of our $100 visas each we found our wonderful guide, Kagan Kosagan, right outside the customs door where we were whisked away to his car. He and his wife, Lale, run personalized tours, particularly for small groups. Check out their web sites: or

  After crossing one of the bridges over the Bosphorus, I realized that this was the first time I had ever been in Asia (97% of Turkey lies in Asia.) Over the course of the next week we traveled over 2000 miles to Cappadocia in the central Anatolia region, then westward to the Aegean Sea, north to the Dardanelles, crossing back into Europe near Gallipoli and finally returning to Istanbul for the last three days.  I had expected to see a much poorer country (like Bulgaria) but was struck by the expanse of new apartment buildings, houses, and widening roads.Our guide said that Turkey is now the 17th richest nation in the world!

Above: Poplar trees for reforesting were everywhere.

Left: Trucks and the ubiquitous MacDonalds on the road to Bolu.

Salt for sale near the Turkish "Great Salt Lake,"
Tuz Golu.

I have never seen such an unusual area in my life as in the Cappadocia region with its “Fairy Chimneys,” gelological formations that look like toadstools and phalli in which many cave houses were dug by people who wanted the natural air conditioning, those hiding from invading hoards and by early Christians fleeing persecution.

Kagan and Margaret at Uhisar

PaSa Baglari -- what are those!!???

Zelve Open Air Museum - Valley 3.

Zelve Valley 1.

Margaret and I at the entrance to Zelve.

Climbing to rock homes and churches.

Below: Dove cotes.
Right: Zelve at sunset

Panoramas are full of strange shapes with hundreds of doors, windows and stairs carved in the rocks.
near NevSihir.

Open air museums have cave churches with 1000 year old Christian frescos.
Church caves in the Greme Open Air Museum.

Stone dining room table.

Turkish school kids on field trip.

One of the underground cities we explored, Derinkuyu, has 19 stories below ground!
(We were only allowed to go down 9.)

These cities were built during the period of the spreading of Christianity, 9th to 10th centuries, and housed some 10,000 people. That day we watched as snow fell into the 85 meter air shaft!

Rooms a few stories down.


The tunnels became smaller
and smaller, the farther
down you went.