Underground cities & wow... Goreme !

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 05, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel Lazalar

Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our arrival into Ankara, the capital of Turkey, was just after 8am.   We all slept so well we only had about 20 minutes to get ready... When the train stopped at the station we accidentally hopped off the wrong side of the platform and had to climb back through the train to get to the right side (the doors were locked for some reason).  Our driver was waiting and we piled our bags in -- just as we pulled out of the car park we got pulled over by the cops for something.... a good start to the day!   
We drove out of Ankara -- nothing much to see in the capital -- and stopped about an hour out of town for the biggest brekky & the best omlette...  Back of the bus again we stopped to see the huge salt lake -- pretty self explanatory really...  The countryside zoomed past us and we drove through many little towns, the grass is so green and lush and it is nice to see a bit of colour after the dust and dry dirt of India.  
We visited the underground city of Derinkuyu - 8 floors below the surface, built many many years ago... The people back in the time built the city to hide from the enemies - they had airshafts for ventilation, wells for water, secret entrances and booby traps, churches, kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms and even a wine making area.... very clever back then.!   
An hour later we arrived in the town of Goreme - the heart of Cappadocia and it was spectacular.   Our first stop was for those who wanted too to book a hot air balloon ride for the following morning through Kapadokya Balloons.   The English lady there was fantastic and I was sucked in straight away....
By now we were all pretty desperate for a shower so we trudged up the hill to Hotel Lazalar and we were in for a great surprise - it was a cave hotel!    Gem & I shared a room and we squealed like kids because we had a spa.  Everyone was checking out everyone else's room and the amazing views over the town and the cliffs.   The locals just go about their daily life even though they live in the most beautiful settings.
We met just after 7pm and walked down the hill to the restaurant Mercan.  A lot of us had the clay pot for dinner - they cook the meat and veg in this pot and then when its ready the seal gets cracked open by a knife and its served.   We each had a turn in cracking open our pots and i managed to successfully not get any clay droppings in mine...
After tea a few of us past a coffee/sweet shop and decided to have the best hot chocolate in town... We struggled to get back up the hill to go to bed -- its an early start for those who are hot air ballooning in the morning!
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