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    Digging their way to China

    September 26th, 2006 by steve


    The undergroud cities are possibly even more impressive than the sites up top. The locals claim there are hundreds of cities of varying size and excavation in the area. The largest we saw claimed to be excavated to 8 levels below ground with some 5000 rooms discovered. This first city at Kaymakli is very clean and setup for tourists. There’s even lighting run through most of the rooms. Of course, we spent a fair amount of time off the beaten path with only our headlamps for light. I think most impressive is the little stuff. There are ventilations shafts running up and down further than our lights can see. The round stone doors that roll in place to block passageways from enemies.

    After this big one, we headed on our scooter out to the country to a speck of a town called Mazi with a less touristed underground city. A guy by the side of the road flagged us down and offered to show us inside with his gas lantern. There actually were lights put in when a group of archeologists started excavation, but they seemed to have stopped rather abruptly and ripped out the lighting and most of the wiring when they left. Our guide tells us in some mix of Turk, English and French that this city was built for 10,000 people to hide out. This one went six levels below surface and six up into a mountain, but only the upper ones were open. In near darkness, we followed this guy around this dirty group of chambers until he says “Now surprise. follow slowly” and runs off down a narrow passage with the big light. We follow and a minute later I see his light – and Mary screams. I turn to see two arms sticking through small holes in the passageway hovering over her. Another great trick to pummel your enemies.Next we have to ascend four levels through 3 foot square ‘elevator’ shafts that rise along the wall and straight through the ceiling as far as our lights shine. (The brightness of the lighting in these pictures is boosted by Photoshop – which wasn’t much help to us at the time!)

    There are footholes on each side every foot, so climbing up is just a matter of wedging your self in and going up. Fear of heights isn’t much of a problem because there’s nothing to see when you look down.
    This adventure was just missing the Indiana Jones theme song in the background. After a few shafts, a knee height tunnel or two and the promise of no more “surprises”, we made it safely outside again. Now we just need to find a laundry service.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses

    1. Dad Says:

      oh to be young and able to climb like you did, unbelievable sites. enjoy

    2. mary Says:

      hi dad!
      yeah, we had a blast going through the rocks. it was pitch black because there was no one else in the entire underground city so we had to get over our fear of heights and the dark.

      but we’re not so young as we used to be and definitely feel it after our longs days of hiking and climbing. still alive and smiling though. :)

      say hi to Nance for us.

      –Mary

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