The Love Valley
Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
24Trip End Jan 10, 2009
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Where I stayed
I am in Goreme, Cappadocia right now enjoying some Turkish coffee in a cafe. I took an overnight bus from the Selcuk to Urgup and recommend against it. The buses are really nice and comfortable but unfortunately they stop at every town along the way to pick up passengers and they turn all the lights on. I was not able to get more than 40 minutes of sleep at a time and needless to say, I was a wee bit cranky by the time I reached Urgup.
It was rather chilly when I got here and when I went to put on my jacket I realized that I left it in the closet of the last hotel along with a hoodie and a pair of pants. I packed as little as possible so now I am down to only two pairs of pants and one hoodie so if I am wearing the same thing in all my pictures from now on that's why. I did manage to pick up a handmade wool sweater in one of the shops that makes me look like a sheep farmer but at least it's warm
I was only going to stay here for a couple of days but ended up staying longer because this place is so beautiful. I feel like I am in Middle Earth living in a Hobbit village. Volcanic activity from long ago has created the most unique landscape. Ancient houses and churches are carved into what they call fairy chimneys: huge cone shaped rocks that jut out of the ground. There are many cave hotels where people can rent a luxury room in a real cave, they are so awesome!
The people here are also very friendly. I am staying in an old Ottoman mansion that a man named Sergio transformed into a beautiful Turkish themed hotel. His father owns one of the largest carpet businesses in Turkey and he has an outlet store located next to the hotel. I enjoy visiting his father and his brothers for a cup of tea and some conversation; they are a very interesting family.
One of the guys that work at the store named Memat is also a part time tour guide and yesterday I hired him to show me around the area. He brought me for a hike in a place called Love Valley near Goreme. Many huge rock formations in the shape of male genitalia stood erect throughout the valley and it was very hard to keep a straight face as it dawned on me why they called it Love Valley. It was more tactful than any name I would have come up with
Cappadocia seems to be tugging on my heart strings and making it hard for me to leave and make my way to Syria. The weather has been unusually sunny and hot for this time of year and the more time I spend with the local people the more I fall in love. I will definitely come back here one day.
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