Our guide scared me so much I cried – Underground Cities in Cappadocia
Visiting an underground city has always been a scary concept to me as if you haven’t figured it out by now, I am quite a chicken. Our tour guide was confident though as he pulled up to this tiny little run down town and put us in the hand of his “friend” who was to take us on a tour of this underground city.
He gave us some dodgy torches and explained to us that this underground city actually isn’t opened to the public yet and it is just because our tour guide and he were friends that we were allowed to explore it.
Feeling full of confidence that we would be the only 5 people in this deep, dark labyrinth for god knows how long, I took a deep breath as we entered the ancient Bronze Age city.
After entering, the smell of damp and the view of these tiny little tunnels working to create a housing system were quite unbelievable as the guide told us where families used to sleep, cook and communicate throughout the tunnel system. He showed us the way the doors worked and told us how families would get around this 90 meter high system. He showed us where they used to make wine, where they would tie up their cattle, where the pigeons slept after carrying messages and where they kept prisoners.
We learnt that through tiny little holes they would communicate with each other that the enemy was approaching. He showed us where the king used to sit.
Then he asked us to wait there for a minute.
“Why??” I asked, getting very panicked. Where did he need to go that we couldn’t come??
“It’s a surprise…” he smiled as he told us to wait there for a minute or so then follow him in the direction that he left.
“I don’t want a surprise…” I tried to yell out to him.
It was too late. He had gone and everyone was twitching with excitement, wondering what the surprise would be. I was standing still. Jerking my head from left to right, staying very quiet. I asked Daniel to stand with me while I freaked out but he was too excited, jumping around like he usually does when he is excited. So by myself I stood, hoping the man would just come back quietly and that would be the surprise.
Then he started cooing.
“What was that??” I freaked out, my heart pounding in my chest. My hands starting sweating.
“Let’s go!” All the freaks cried and we started walking down one of the little alleyways.
For some reason I started filming…
Yes, it was that dark throughout the cave so I will explain what happened. As we were walking through this little tunnel, a hand from out of nowhere reached out and grabbed my arm, pulling me against the wall and screaming in my ear, holding me there until it realised I was probably actually going to have a heart attack if he didn’t let go.
And that was the outcome. I burst in to tears and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so scared in my life.
The tour guide told us that’s what they used to do to enemies when they least expected it, hid in little holes with gaps for their hands so they could reach out and cut their throats.
He could have just explained it to us. I would have got the picture.
After calming down a little bit the guide then told us we would be climbing up 9 meters worth of ladders to get out. Great.
The first one was okay, maybe just one meter tall but when we got to the next one I started wondering if someone was just taking me on this tour to face all my fears in the one day. A 9 meter climb up a tiny vertical tunnel with only little bits of timber and feet holes to help me up.
I tried to go first but got to the first hard part where you needed to spread your legs as far as you can to start waddling up the climb and had to come back down. I told someone else to go first so I could see how it was done.
The other couple on our tour went first and I watched them clamber up the vertical climb. Daniel asked if he should go first but I told him I should go before him because if I was the last one left I never would have done it.
I finally did it, hands and body shaking with fear and I was pretty glad that I made it alive considering the safety of the whole procedure was little to none. The other climbs were a little less arduous but I can’t lie that when I saw the exit sign I wasn’t excited.
If you are claustrophobic, scared of heights and/or of dying (I’m calling out to Matt Jeffries here in particular) and if you ever go to Cappadoccia, I don’t recommend this underground city to you. Apparently many of the other underground cities are a lot more touristic, with lights, signs and non-life threatening walks along the way.
If you can handle it though, I definitely recommend it! Sometimes, it’s fun to be scared!
If you want more information on underground cities in Cappadocia I recommend having a read of this website.