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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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Ortahisar, Nevsehir, Turkey

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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Ortahisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Ortahisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Ortahisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Ortahisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey


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, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Urgub, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Urgub, Nevsehir, 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.

Dateline: Moscow, Day 5

Moscow, Russian Federation
7 June 2009

Today was a bit of a down day. I made a list a of the last few places that I wanted to visit. It basically boiled down to the Central Armed Forces Museum and the Cosmonaut Museum. There where some other things that I could have done, but Moscow has begun to wear on me.

Since the Central Armed Forces Museum is closed on on Monday and Tuesday and the Cosmonauts Museum is only closed on Tuesdays1, I decided to go to the Central Armed Forces Museum today.

With the Brits (Kate, Lizzy, Tom, Gary, and Ryan) off on their Trans-Siberian adventure and Eric and Casper already gone for the day, I ventured off by myself. Heading north, I caught the metro. I was trying to be cool and minimize walking, so I took the green line to the brown line and attempted to get off at Dostoevkaja. However, the station was still under construction, so I ended up getting dropped off at Prospekt Mira; this ended up being about the same travel distance to the museum as if I had just walked to from the hostel. Oh well.

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Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

The museum itself was rather awesome, however it looked like it was in desperate need of funding. Several of the attractions inside were incomplete and the outside looked very poorly taken care of, a shame considering the amount of history present. The museum also had a small but impressive (to me) collection of paintings. Note: I’ll have photos of the museum up later, I have close to 100 pictures and want to get some more critical stuff posted first.

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Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

I walked back to the hostel in under 30 minutes, seeing yet another part of the city new to me. On the way back, I stopped briefly in a park. There was party of some sorts going on, perhaps for a wedding. Everyone was dressed nicely and drinking vodka. Drunk Russian sounds almost exactly the same as drunk English.

For tonight, we decided to hit the town. There’s a bar and grill called Papa’s Place that also has a basement club. Casper and I went down there with Max, Jared, Evan, and Ryan, who are all super awesome engineering students who graduated from CU Boulder! They’re flying from Denver to Rwanda to work on a water sanitation project, and taking an extended layover to attempt Mt. Elbrus (they were unable to successfully summit due to weather) and visit Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The club was pretty empty, at least according to Casper. We had a couple of beers and then Max joined us (he had to finish up laundry and then biked down on his rental). We ended up just shooting the shit. Around 5 am, we (Casper, and probably me) were almost scammed by some Russians. The club had closed, so they booted us upstairs to the bar and grill (which is open 24/7)2. I found Casper already upstairs; arm wrestling with some Russian dude.

Evan and Ryan had already left, and Max and Jared and I wanted to leave. Casper wanted to stay though, as he was talking with some cute Russian girls. I agreed to stay with Casper, since I didn’t want him staying by himself.

Not even five minutes later, we’re siting at a table with black-label alcohol being shoved in our direction. I politely decline. Casper does not. I strongly urge Casper that it’s time to go

Only a few minutes later, Max and Jared come back. They were outside chatting with some other Russian girls. They somehow figure out we were getting scammed and had come back to save our asses…literally. This is how you can find yourself out 10000 roubles. So I owe them one.

Max throws away the empty beer bottle he had in his back pocket and we head back to the hostel. It’s almost seven in the morning by time I crawl into bed. Lesson learned…and not the hard way.


  1. which I later found out is not true, it’s closed on Monday and Tuesday as well 

  2. Side note: same place that Ryan got lost at