Sunday, May 11, 2008

To Cappadocia - Göreme.


Early this morning, Lei and I took a Turkish Airways flight from Istanbul to Kayseri ("Kai-ser-ree"). From Kayseri, we boarded a bus for the hour long drive to the village of Göreme ("Ger-rem-mey") which is located within the boundaries of Göreme National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Göreme was our base for our days visiting Cappadocia.

Leaving Kayseri airport, I looked out the window to see the Anatolian landscape which was pretty much arid, rocky terrain interspersed with patches of green.



















Miles and miles of the same landscape - I was beginning to wonder when I would see the unusual rock formations of Cappadocia that had captured my attention when I was planning this trip. At one point, we veered off the main road heading towards the town of Ürgüp ("Ur-goop") and all of a sudden, the landscape took on more of a different look.






















As we drove into Ürgüp, I caught my first glimpse of the cave dwellings that are prevalent in Cappadocia.











We dropped off a few passengers in town and then continued down the road to Göreme. Lei and I were the only passengers left in the car. At one point, the driver pulled over at a scenic vista point where we saw our first set of fairy chimneys.

Photo op over and it was back into the car. A few minutes later and we had arrived in Göreme.





















From the center of town, we wound our way, on a narrow road, up one of the hills that surrounds the village. We then got dropped off at the entrance to Kelebek Pension where we had booked our stay. Lei and I got out of the car, got our luggage out of the trunk and immediately burst into giggles. In front of us was a set of steps with an arrow that pointed straight up - that's where Reception was.







We started the climb - lugging our baggage all the way. The steps seemed endless so several breathers were required before we reached the top. Later on we would discover a back road entrance to the pension that would have dropped us off right outside Reception without having to climb a bazillion steps!












We had booked our room (#4) in advance but had to wait for it to be cleaned. While we waited, we had breakfast on the terrace and admired the unique landscape that defines Cappadocia. It was a bit cloudy when we arrive and I hoped that it was just a passing storm. No matter though. I really couldn't wait to get out to explore it all!!

A short wait and we got into our room. We deliberately picked one that had a cave feel to it. Walking into the room, we were in awe of what we saw - a room carved into a fairy chimney that was decoroated in traditional Anatolian manner. It was soooo charming. There was a double bed and a daybed. I opted for the daybed as the double bed was much too soft for me.


































We took a few minutes to relax and freshen up. We then headed out. Destination for the afternoon - the Göreme Open Air Museum.