We’d spent the entire day discovering Cappadocia from every possible angle. The morning found us exploring deep below its volcanic terrain in Derinkuyu, and the afternoon took us on a long hike through the verdant Ihlara Valley where at every turn we encountered postcard worthy scenes of a quietly rushing river, leaves in every shade of autumn, and hillside caves that people once lived and worshiped in.
After such a climactic hike, we experienced the denouement of our Cappadocian journey at the Selime Monastery. Built into the rocky hillside, the monastery is one of the largest religious structures in Cappadocia. We were left to our own devices and had the choice to sit out down near our tour van or climb up the narrow and unguarded path for a closer look at the monastery. We chose to climb.