Off to Cappadocia
Trip Start Jul 01, 2007
79Trip End Sep 02, 2007
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I think we are all back on a "normal" schedule now. We woke up at a reasonable hour, had another fabulous breakfast buffet, complete with Nutella (chocolate hazlenut spread) on toast. We packed and went out to the store to buy snacks. We settled on breadsticks and simit and pistachios. We still had plenty of time to get to the bus station, but I didn't fancy hauling all the luggage up and down the stairs at the metro, so we took a cab. It was a fine thing that we took a cab too, because a child (I won't name names) left his/her bag with his/her new digital camera inside it in the lobby of the hotel because he/she got couldn't resist the lure of the revolving door. As soon as we pulled up at the bus station and were about to get out, the taxi driver's cell phone rang. The head of hotel security called to let us know about our lost bag. Darned if writing our name of everything didn't actually work. I still can't believe that they caught us in time. So, we drove back to the hotel, got the bag and drove back to the bus station.
Since we left plenty of time to make our 1pm train, I was a little confused when a man who identified himself at the counter as our bus driver grabbed us and rushed us off the the bus. Apparently, it suited them to get us on an earlier bus. I wasn't opposed to leaving earlier, but we didn't really have a chance to get our stuff in order and some personal electronic devices ended up down in the hold and some children had to find alternate entertainment on the 5 hour trip.This is a photo from the bus. The terrain changes pretty dramatically after you leave the big city.
It's getting pretty late and tomorrow is a big day. I'm only uploading 10 photos because, shockingly, the wireless connection inside this ancient cave is a little slow. I'd probably bag the whole thing for tonight, but it's absolutely gorgeous out here on my balcony. It's cool and quiet. I can hear the murmur of voices in the distance, a few crickets and the occasional sheep. Across from me are some more caves dug into the volcanic rock and they are amazing to me and up above is an incredibly black sky because we are truly in the middle of nowhere as far as modern civilization goes.
So, I'm pretty much going to stick to a few anecdotes about the journey and expound on Cappadocia after our tour tomorrow.
The bus drive included a connection, but aside from some near-bursting bladders (again, I'll protect the guilty with vagueness), it was very comfortable. As a matter of fact, it was a Mercedes bus. It's set up a lot like a plane inside and has a conductor who does a beverage and snack service. Although, unlike some airlines, this service is free. As a bonus, you also get cologne splashed on your hands now and then. Odd to us, but certainly not in a bad way. I'm certainly glad that I read about the likelihood of that happening before it did.
(early the next morning--after the call to prayer and Josh made sure I was awake) Since we arrived on an earlier bus than we intended, there was no one to meet us at the bus station, so we went to get a meal at the Micro cafe near the bus station. It was a decent meal, but nothing to write home about.
Many restaurants have orange squeezing machines and most, of the OJ we've had here has been fresh. After or meal the staff let me use the phone to call the hotel and request a shuttle. Our driver beat us back to the bus station. He spoke pretty good English that he said he has learned at our hotel: the Giramasu Cave Hotel (www.gamirasu.com). We drove down a one-way lane that twisted through what would be a stretch, I think, to call a town and ended up next to the hotel. There was no real check in. We were shown directly to rooms off the courtyard. I had requested the Family Suite, but they were kind enough to give us two rooms, since the hotel is not yet full for the season. I scored the honeymoon suite. With Kate. There is a king-sized canopy bed and a terrace and the whole room is, in fact, a cave.
Dinner was at 7 and they served a set menu of local specialties.
I also want to take a moment for a disclaimer: this text editor has no spell check and I am not editing entries, so things might get a little hinky at times. Also, I'm not sure if I'll have internet for a day or two. Don't be concerned if you don't hear from us again 'til Istanbul. Off to breakfast!
Where I stayed
Giramasu Cave Hotel