Big old rocks
Trip Start Aug 25, 2006
47Trip End Dec 15, 2006
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Again the bus ride wasn't too bad to begin with - a very modern bus that wasn't too crowded on smooth roads for the first half was good. We stopped every few hours, at which point Luke and I would buy some more turkish delight in our never ending attempt to give ourselves diabetes from the stuff. The second half of the trip got much worse however due to the condition of the road shaking the bus constantly. It was that bad Luke had a headache when we reached Nevsehir to change to our bus to Goreme, and neither of us had much real sleep to speak of from midnight to 7 am.
A kip and some chorba and chay later we were ready to check out the Goreme open air museum. It is surrounded and contains what are known as 'Fairy Chimneys'. They are strange naturally occurring rock columns created by erosion.
The reason I have been so prompt with my updating of this travel log lately is that Turkey is full of great net cafes with useful computers and decent internet connections for not much per hour. Compared to western Europe this place is an internet cafe paradise. Almost every major street in Istanbul and even small towns like Goreme have a few net cafes, all of which far surpass the pissy little terminals you find crammed into cafes and coffee shops all over Western Europe. Another reason is that there hasn't been much to do at night. If we haven't been continuing our travel during this whirlwind trip of central Turkey, we have been huddling inside a netcafe or our room trying to stay warm as it is extremely cold now. Our hostel owner said it is normal for this time of year to have at least a foot of snow on the ground but for some reason is has been unseasonably warm and the most they've cracked it for is a bit of frost here and there. We're not complaining though as we definitely aren't really equipped to deal with snowy central Turkey just yet.
Upon arriving this morning we were unable to find anywhere open for a warm meal. The best we could find is one of the many tea houses that seem to be perpetually open and occupied by old chain-smoking,tea drinking Turkish men. All they pretty much have is tea (chay, pronounced chai) or Turkish coffee, but you are allowed, as we found out this morning, to bring in like bread and jam and eat it in there. Not a bad deal at all considering it was the only warm place we could find before 10pm and the chay is only 25cents as opposed to the 1 lira you sometimes get charged. The place feels like a ghost town at the moment. We are the only people at our hostel and have only seen a few other backpackers around the town.
One thing I have to note about Turkey so far is that there really doesn't seem to be any problems at all with drugs or alcohol. We haven't smelt anyone smoking hash or weed at all, let alone have anyone try to sell it to us. There aren't any drunks either considering the ease and relative cheapness of buying alcohol. Although, they all know about the dangers of alcohol abuse through Ataturk's due to alcoholism. Apparently he liked his raki. I don't know how they do it but every place here has been pleasant in that regard. Although, walking around with a beer in Selcuk at breakfast time yesterday caused a bit of a stir amongst the locals at the bus station who annoyed the hell out of me asking me if I was drinking beer when clearly that was what I was doing. Apparently it is illegal to drink beer in public but the police turn a blind eye to foreigners, and the locals, as I've said, are more interested than appalled that you're doing something that flies blatantly in the face of the dominant religion in this country.