Saturday, April 11, 2015

Visit From Family: Underground City

I agreed to do something I have never done before. I've always found an excuse ("I'll stay back and let the baby sleep...") or sometimes I've just flat-out said, "Go ahead. Without  me." But I decided this year to try to overcome my long fear of closed-in spaces. My kids are growing up before my eyes. I want to have every memory with them I can. Even if it means hyperventilating and passing out right in front of them.

We drove to the Underground City and just before going underground, we spotted this sweet Anatolian Shepherd (or as the locals call their sheepdog, a kangal). If I ever had a dog, this breed would be it.

We went into the entrance. And I truly believe this is designed to lure people like me in. I could stand up here. I could breathe. I could still see out. It was cool. It was fun.

CC wisely suggested we pay a little extra for a guide. After all, it is 8 levels down. Getting lost is a relevant concern. Please don't let me get lost.

We began walking down into this wholly underground city, designed by people who needed to hide, mostly from persecution. This tiny alcove was a church with a small confessional opening.

We found a cross.

And then the panic began.

To survive some parts, I used the breathing techniques I learned in Singapore before I birthed my first child.

And you can NOT see out of this underground city. Anywhere. I completely blocked that thought out of my mind. They designed it so that even the smoke from cooking fires would dissipate prior to exiting the underground.

Our guide was great. He showed us some things we might have missed, like a spot where a rope had been tied for a swinging cradle or hammock.

The kids went into every nook and cranny. I stayed in the largest places possible.

This would have been a "home." Escaping persecution forced people to find a way to survive. I silently thanked God for all our bedrooms.

Breathe. I am deeply and slowly breathing as I look at this pictures.

This was an air shaft. Someone had to carve those foot and hand holds from the stone all the way down.

It's impossible for the picture to show how deep it went. I could not see the bottom. What if someone fell back then? Someone had to go down to get him.

I survived it! I did this (cue "Eye of the Tiger" here)!

Our guide sent the kids into a deep tunnel.

Then he disappeared and found a little hole. As the kids returned, he grabbed Twinkle Toes' shoulder. She, of course, screamed! He also switched off the lights on us at one point! Sekret Bey, a retired history teacher,  knows how to have some fun underground!

It was a great tour. I am so glad I did it! My kids told me over and over they were proud of me.

 Daylight! Fresh air! Survival!

1 comment:

Jill said...

Would you ever do it again? :-)

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