Dateline: Cappadocia Region, Day 2 – The Better Tour

Cappadocia, Turkey
27 June 2009

Sleeping felt great. Waking up, not so much. But we had to get an early start on the day as we day yet another all day tour before we had to run to catch another overnight bus, joy! Shazia had left for Istanbul last night, so we made friends with Cecilie and Finn.

We’ve actually been “stalking” them since Istanbul where we both stayed at the Mavi Guesthouse. They booked a tour with Ali’s help as well, and we (unbeknownst to either party at the time) booked essentially the same tour all the way to Samos. The only difference was Cecilcia and Finn had an extra day in Cappadocia before their tour.

We started with some more rocks just outside of town, but today’s tour eventually took us down to Kaymaklı to see the Kaymaklı Underground City.

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Being almost 50 meters down was a nice change of pace from the beating Turkish sun, although the cool relief did not last long.

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We did a short (about 4 kilometers, or so) hike through Ihlara Valley and then stopped for a quick lunch over the river before finishing out our day. It wasn’t nearly as good at yesterdays buffet, but it filled the belly enough.

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Funny picture of the day: What a bunch of tourist look like photographing a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

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We finally headed over to Selime Monastery to finish up the day.

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Getting back before our bus left had its moments of excitement. The bus was supposed to leave at 19:00 and our tour was supposed to get back by 18:30. However, we had a late start in the morning because they didn’t have enough seats and had to get a second bus for the tour. It was pushing 18:50 by time we got back to the hostel. Fortuneatly our bags were packed and ready to go. However, I needed to check my email to see if Ali had sent me any last minute information. Meanwhile, Charlie went to go take a shower after we decided that he was no longer allowed to ride next to me without taking one.

Ali actually ended up calling the Shoestring Cave and leaving a message. So I called him back. It was lucky I got a hold of him as there was a change of plans. It basically boils down to this: We were going to stay in Selcuk, which is about 25 minutes from Kusadasi, which is where we catch the ferry to Samos. The ferry leaves at 08:00 in the morning. Ali thought that he could get us a ride, but he couldn’t. So he’s going to have us stay at a place in Kusadasi instead so we can just walk to the ferry!

I wrote down all the contact information for our new hostel and was off running to the bus station with Charlie 45 seconds behind me. As it turned out, this bus didn’t leave on time and we had an extra several minutes to spare.

We took the short ten minute ride to Nevsehir, where it started raining buckets. As we arrived, the streets started looking like Venician canals. This was unfortunate for the sheer fact that none of us, save Cecilie, had any sort of rain gear. Finn used his backpack as a shield, I threw on my fleece zip-up, and Charlie just sucked it up.

Once we got on the bus, it was okay though. The AC was on, Charlie had take two showers, and we on our way to the cooler coast.

Dateline: Cappadocia Region, Day 1 – You Rock My World

Cappadocia, Turkey
26 June 2009

I’m going to start by appologzing profussely for all the pictures of rocks. Cappadocia is, in essence, a giant collection of cool looking rocks and I’m pretty sure I got a picture of every single one of them. Out of 215 photos I took today, I ended up only rejecting 84 of them. Typically, I reject just over half. Not today.

Anyway, the bus ride was less than ideal. Charlie smelled like a sweaty rugby player after an all-day round robin tournament and the bus driver refused to keep the AC on. We awoke in Nevsehir and were called off the bus. A bit dazzed from just waking up, Charlie and I got off, thinking this was the guy who was going to take us to the hostel from the bus depot.

As it turned out, we think it was just a way to get tourist to purchase a tour of Cappadocia, as the guy quickly put us back on the bus once he found out we had already booked a tour. Still super confused about what happened, we finally did off at the right stop.

We got to the hostel and learned that both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett had died while we were in transit. Sad times.

A quick turn around and we were off to explore the northern region of Cappadocia with our guide, Esra.

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Many of the holes in the rocks were for roosting pigeons. The previous inhabitants used the guano as fertalizer.

We spent most of the day hiking around. One kilometer here, another four there. For two guys who barely got any sleep, I thought we did pretty good. We befriended Shazia, another traveler from the States who was on vacation with her mother; had an amazing buffet lunch (that’ll teach them to let to college grads eat all they want); and, toured a pottery shop, among other things.

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50.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Ürgüp, Nevşehir, Turkey


DSC_1497
18.0 mm || 1/5000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Ürgüp, Nevşehir, Turkey

For dinner, we walked into town and had pide (a Turkish pizza) and a beer at a restraunt that Shazia had recommended for their kunefe, which is amazing by the way.

We wandered back to the Bat Shoestring Cave and promptly fell asleep.