Cappadocia

Trip Start May 16, 2006
1
23
30
Trip End Aug 16, 2006


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sooooo.... I got conned into another hold-your-hand tour through the international organization AISEC, an internship thing. It was me, the other yabanci (foreigner) students at METU, and a hundred or so of these people doing internships in Turkey. The price was crazy low, but the quality matched it perfectly. 125 YTL for a 3 day trip, 2 nights accomodation (~80US, including hotel, food, bus, etc, etc... crazy cheap). We skipped the first day and night, though, as it was all Ankara stuff. Sat morning we left for Cappadocia. We got a lovely piece of white bread for breakfast. The bus ride was uneventful. Our lunch stop started out great, until we got our food. Seriously, worst meal I had in about 2 months in Turkey. Almost inedible. And I'm a college student without a meal plan... in other words, my DNA is 27% hyena until I graduate.

After that, we got into the actual Cappadocia region, and it was a stunningly beautiful drive for the last bit. For those that don't know (and why would you?), Cappadocia is known for its underground cities, underground Christian church things, and completely crazy rock formations. Type Cappadocia into images.google.com and check it out. For example, I don't know these people, but I was at this exact lookout point...

http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/Uryguay_files/Cappadocia.jpg

And if you're wondering who put those rocks on top there, well, it was me. Anyway, we first went to an underground city. It's pretty much a rectangular manmade cave, with a handful of bench-looking things and a ventilation shaft to the air above. And stairs. I think we did something else after that, but I don't really remember (this was about 2-3 weeks ago). I think we went to a lookout point or two. Then the hotel, where we were checked in (all 100-150 of us) one by one. It was a blast. They expected us to hand over our passports. Everyone. I'd sooner hand over my soul for the night. When travelling, your passport pretty much is your soul. I kept mine.

Next was the "Turkish Night". I guess technically it's Turkish, kinda like American beer is technically beer, but, you know, not really. So there were whirling dervishes and traditional dancers of assorted shapes and styles. All the food you could stand to stuff yourself with, and local Cappadocia wine.

Day 2 was spent going to another lookout point, and then some of those dug-out churches in rock, more bad food, and then the most comedic part. We were ushered to a few shopping places (jewelry, pottery, wine), given a 2 minute "tour", and then essentially trapped there for 45 minutes each hoping we would by stuff. Quite a blast.

Then the bus ride home. In the last hour we stopped, I'm not joking, three times. But at one of them we saw a butcher shop with a massive tree stump as a chopping block so... I guess it was kinda worth it, because that's awesome.

It was overall not a very good trip, but the countryside was quite nice. I can now say I've been there and, with confidence, say that I'd rather go somewhere different next time.
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