They also make you pay for the bathroom, though I managed to sneak in twice without paying. Yeah, yeah it might seem stingy or wrong but the state of those toilets...they didn't deserve a cent.
Anyway, we managed to arrived in Goreme, the little town we are staying in for the next couple of days in the Cappadocia region.
Luckily enough we were able to drop our bags off and check in. We immediately met with the rest of the group and explored a little part of the town.
Goreme is really nice, the weather is nice, probably a maximum of 30 - 32 and the village has an old fashioned feel to it. We stopped at a local establishment for breakfast.
I had a egg, tomato, onion and green pepper dish called Menemen. It is all mixed together like scrambled eggs with those ingredients. It was incredible.
I didn't think I would like it, but boy was I wrong. It seems simple to make, might have to give it a go at home one day.
Completely exhausted at this stage, we went back to our room and I crashed for 3 hours. I woke up still feeling like I'd gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson but had to drag myself out of bed to make it to the Turkish Bath.
Now Turkish baths are worth the money (and they're not expensive). The process is different to anything I've done before.
First you get changed into little more than a loincloth and thongs (footwear, not underwear!) before you go and have a quick cool shower and then jump into a 70 degree sauna for 15 minutes.
Yes, that's right. 70 degrees.
We were struggling in there.
Thankfully the guy got us out and we had another quick shower to wash the sweat off and then we lay on a table and these guys (yeah yeah sounds gay) rub something like an exfoliating glove over your body (which comes out black...eww).
Then comes to bubble massage (yeah, it's not sounding any less gay right?) where they, somehow, create these tiny bubbles in what looks like a pillow case and drop them all over your body before the massage.
The guy I had was pretty good until he did this weird thing with my thigh which ended up giving me the same affect as having my nut flicked, and ladies, as a guy, getting your nut flicked rates up there with pedophiles and Justin Bieber of the most hated things ever. Once the massage was complete we were drenched with cold water and then we got to jump in the jacuzzi. Pretty sure we sat in there for about 30 minutes.
The water was lukewarm but after the rest of the Turkish Bath, it is nice to relax and you feel freaking awesome afterwards. And your skin feels smooth and soft.
Once the bath was over we returned to the hotel to get changed into something cleaner and rest for a little before we headed a short way to have dinner with a local Goreme family.
The family lived in a pretty old house, but I guess it was nice for what it was. It was made of stone and it kept the house cool on a warm day. It also keeps it warm on cold days as well.
It also had a nice view of the mountains.
The food was delicious though. We were treated to a wheat soup, salads, cheese gozleme (kind of like a cheese crepe) and bread for dessert and then a mince and eggplant main and baklava for dessert.
All in all it was a nice meal and it was fun talking with the family, even with the language barrier.
We returned back to the hotel after and got some much needed sleep.
Day 2 saw us head to the Open Air Museum where we got to explore the rock-cut churches of Cappadocia. As much as I have seen churches during the past month, these were amazing. They were cut out of stone, like a lot of Cappadocia, and still relatively well preserved for something existing since the 2nd century. Inside them are depictions of scenes of the bible (Jesus birth, last meal, etc) and also still have some skeletons on display in the tombs.
We were not allowed to take photos inside (not sure why) but the history of the area is that a large Christian group had converged in the area around the 2nd century and, like they all seemed to do back then, they built churches and nunneries and living quarters.
All in all, it was worth visiting the open air museum as it was pretty interesting.
After the museum we headed to another bunch of homes built in caves, these ones not as well preserved as the ones in the open air museum and these were not churches either. Due to rain and wing, these buildings were quickly eroded as the stone is actually formed from lava from a volcanic explosion centuries ago.
The best thing about this place was the ability to climb on top of the mountains and explore above all the homes. There were some amazing views of the valley.
Next we drove to Avanos, which is pretty much the pottery capital of the world. A lot of earthenware pottery is made in Avanos and they have a large number of pottery people (not sure of the official name of these people). We were able to visit one and got a demonstration of how they make their pottery. Bringing back memories of primary school, the artist made a bowl and a jug out of clay. The whole process usually takes about 25 days to finish. They create the pottery, let it sit for something like 3 weeks in a controlled room (even the slightest air movement can bend or change the shape of clay) before they take it to an outdoor fire place where they fire it to a precise temperature for something like 7 hours before it is all good and ready. Even the slightest degree change and can ruin their artwork.
We were shown around his shop and all his work. It's pretty impressive, but not really my thing.
Once we were done in Avanos we were taken to the Kaymalki Underground City. This "city" is literally underground and pretty much a rabbit warren for people who were probably no taller than rabbits. Now I am not the tallest guy in the world but even I had to crouch to fit in. They pretty much lived underground all their life, probably receiving the award for worlds palest people. The citizens were Christians and lived in a time when they were persecuted so they would move underground to avoid it. They pretty much had all they needed down there, even gathering the water from the underground lake that sits below the city, even today.
The living room. Even had a space cut out for the TV
The city contain mostly storage rooms, kitchens, a church (of course) and cellars. There were giant slabs for doors that lead from above ground to the tunnels, used to escape anyone wanting to harm them and natural ventilation for air (and smelly farts).
We travelled through the tunnels in an uncomfortable crouch, most of us bumping our heads at one point. I had to feel bad for Nick, our Swedish friend who is about 6'3 in height. With the amount of crouching he did he is now probably 6'1.
We left the claustrophobia city and headed to Uchisar castle. A castle built into the rock and the highest point of Cappadocia. We climbed to the top of the castle for the stunning views of Cappadocia. Truly worth the climb.
Pretty alright view eh?
Day 3 was a relaxing day. We had the opportunity to try horse riding or a sunset walk but we were still exhausted and decided it was worth just relaxing at the hotel for today. Try to catch up on some rest.We checked out of the hotel at midday but didn't leave Cappadocia until 11pm, in between we did have dinner at a nice restaurant.
It was time to catch another overnight bus.
And the worlds fattest camel