Friday, September 28, 2007

Turkey Travelogue 9a - On to Cappadocia

We asked our driver to drop us off in Denizli after we were finished in Aphrodisias. Since my dream of visiting Colossae never materialized, we found ourselves at the central bus station with 5 hours to kill before our overnight bus was scheduled to depart for Göreme in Cappadocia.

Denizli is no tourist town. The Lonely Guide provides instructions about getting there (if you must) and getting away, but offers no advice about what to do if you should find yourself stranded downtown of an afternoon. Evidently there is nothing to see. In the end, the hours in the bus stop restaurant listening to Turkish TV were a welcome break between several long days of travel. t. and I took a walk--sans backpacks and tourist hats--thoroughly enjoying our only experience in Turkey not being singled out as foreign tourists.

Since it was an overnight bus, I am not sure how we got from Denizli to Göreme, but I think we must have passed through Konya (ancient Iconium) midway between the two dots:
Thankfully, my memories of the bus careening through the dark, down a narrow, two lane highway are few.

When we arrived in Göreme the next morning, our first task was finding a place to stay. We eventually settled on the pension recommended by our host in Pamukkale. Here's a view from the terrace:
Cappadocia's main attraction is its bizarre and beautiful rock formations, resulting from the erosion of soft rock around volcanic basalt. "The end result is fascinating: huge stone mushrooms and fairy chimneys, soft ridges and deep valleys, acute edges and mild undulations - all riddled with numerous ancient cave dwellings like a Swiss cheese" (Blue Guide).

Our pension was one such cave dwelling, albeit a more modern one:

t.'s verdict: "If I had been a wine bottle or a cheese, it would have been great!"

The view from the terrace, however, was stunning:

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1 comment:

Danny Gamache said...

I seem to remember some great Rummy games at that bus station! :) I also have to say that Goreme would be my first choice for a return visit (outside of Istanbul) from our trip.