Cappadocia rocks- a lot!!!
Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
69Trip End Sep 04, 2008
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Alright, so to begin our sojourn to the holy land of Kapadokya, Laura, Tania, and I went to Sultanahmet at 7pm last night to catch our "shuttle" to the actual bus station that is an hour away. The shuttle did not leave until 7:30pm, nor did it get to the bus station on time for our 8:30pm overnight bus. The clock was ticking past 9pm when the shuttle finally dropped us and 20 other anxious travellers. Thankfully the bus hadn't left, but it was a tiny bus instead of a nicely airconditioned bus with cushioned seats and on-board bathroom. That's alright, I thought, I will pop a few Tylenol PM and go to sleep. We witnessed the bus drivers putting an old man into the storage area under the bus with all the luggages! They handed him a bottle of water and slammed the door. He apparently had a leg problem and could not sit in a regular seat
Tylenol PM worked its magic, and I slept until the sunrise. We stopped at Nevshir, a city that the travel guides and websites warned tourists not to get off. So I stayed glued to the seat, only to be relieved and really excited to see the crazy rock formations in Goreme! If creepy is the word of choice in Istanbul, crazy and bootlegged were the theme of our trip in Kapadokya. At 9:15am, the pension owner picked us up from the main bus station in Goreme... in his car that must have once been white, furnished with furry zebra-print seats. Then he rushed us to get ready for our tour that started at 9:30am! We had just enough time to brush our teeth and put on our hiking outfits. With our bags scattered on the side of the reception room, off we went to the Green Tour.
A 15-person van picked us up from the pension and took us to a bus, the size of the overnight bus, filled with tourists from Spain, France, Turkey, and wherever else
Then with a total change in scenary, we went to Ihlara Valley, the supposedly Grand Canyon of Turkey. We hiked 4km through rocks and woods and dirt trails and river. Beautiful, beautiful scenary, and a lot more picturesque in pictures than the underground city. We had lunch at a restaurant nearby. Our table was literally in the water; please see the picture! Free pedicure! Except not, because my feet were covered in green algae. After the long lunch, we were off to Selime Monastery, my favorite place of all. It is like a rock jungle gym! This place reminded me of Buu from Dragon Ball Z
Afterwards, we saw a little onyx demonstration, similar to the arabesque demonstration in Egypt. Tania and Laura went jewelry shopping while I sat with 3 guys from Spain by the exit door. They claimed they drank absinthe they brought from Czech Republic and smoked pot with the owner at Red Red Wine. Sadly they were leaving tonight, so we could not party it up the Spanish way. At 5:30pm, Laura, Tania, and I were officially done with the Green Tour (such a great deal for the price! All-inclusive!). The lady led us to our cave room... I have mixed feelings about this place. It really looks like a cubic cave. Our beds rested on stone slabs. The bathroom was at least modern, except there was no shower- just a bucket and a hose. Well, it's all part of the experience, right?
We ate dinner at some local restaurant that is not really worth mentioning or remembering. LP that I borrowed from my friend Manny said that Pacha Bar is the place to "get your rocks off", so we checked it out. The place looked cool, but alas, it was deserted at 10:30pm. We had the choice of coming back around midnight when the place starts hopping, or checking out another place. We decided upon the latter since we have to get up at 5am in the morning for the hot air balloon ride. We went to Red Red Wine House, a dimly-lit and rather romantic place. The mango nargile we got there was sooo bootlegged! I had to suck in like it was my last breath on a sinking boat, and I still felt like I was just breathing in air. And the owner, whom by the way I cannot imagine smoking pot with foreigners, just shooed us away like we were some tourist n00bs who don't know how to smoke nargile. HELLO, we live next to the largest nargile wonderland in Istanbul!
Whatever, we came back to our cave shack and passed out. Walking through the place, we just could not believe that we were here. This place is seriously unbelievable.