Balloon ride and overnight bus to Pamukkale

Trip Start Apr 16, 2006
Trip End Jun 07, 2006

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, May 9, 2006

As some of you may recall, I was going to do a balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Well... that didn't exactly happen. A few days before my arrival in Luxor, one of the balloons was taken by the wind into the airspace of the Luxor airport, which is under Egyptian military control. Due to the winds and to punish the balloon companies (it only happened with one, but they chose to punish them all) all balloon rides were cancelled for two weeks. Like I said, this happened about 2 days before my arrival. It ended up being fine though because it gave me a chance to sleep in.

Anyhow, I decided to do a balloon ride over Cappadocia to make up for it. So here is the bird's eye view of the landscape there. Unfortunately it was not until the next day that I realized my camera settings were switched onto the wrong thing so the photos aren't as good as I would like.

As you can see the weather was more than a little icky too. Everyone was pretty much soaked with rain and shivering by the time we were up in the air. But it was very pretty up there. I stood next to a woman named Irene from Australia and we talked almost the whole time. It was a good conversation. One of the tourguides made fun of our talking in Turkish after we landed (thinking I couldn't tell what she was saying) but I really didn't care... after all I have had to regularly listen to the second-hand babblings of loud tourguides while on my holiday. So turnabout is fair play I suppose. ;)

The food is very good here (and I can finally eat some chicken since there's no bird flu around!) but I will say that I am becoming tired of eggs. Every day eggs. Boiled or fried, there they are for breakfast and lunch wherever I seem to be. I have always loved eggs but I will soon start having nightmares of them I think.

One thing I didn't mention before is the way Turks and Egyptians share food. Egyptian people tend to reach over a table and eat off of eachother's plates without asking, and because they were comfortable with me I had a few people do this to my food too. I figured out that it was custom so I asked about it and they said it is normal to do, but that they would never take food off of an English person's plate because they get visibly upset by it. On the contrary, English people will wait and offer to share food with others after they have eaten all they want... which to an Egyptian is incredibly insulting as it means that someone is basically offering them garbage to eat.

Turkish people generally don't eat off of eachother's plates unless offered (usually before someone starts eating). There have been many times when I have dined with local people where all of the food for a meal was presented on one plate and everyone in the group ate from it with their forks or with bread. They don't really worry much about getting crumbs on the table or anything, its pretty much just a free for all. Saves on dishwashing I suppose! :)

Ok, that is all for now!
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