Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Yabba Dabba Dooooo Time!

We've spent the last four nights sleeping in a cave. On purpose, not because we've run out of money. This isn't just any cave, either- it's the Flintstones Cave! How novel is that? Our cave is probably considerably fancier than Fred or Barney's though. We have two levels, the top one being a loft with two extra beds and a window from which we can watch the hot air balloons at sunrise, a heater, a comfy bed and a modern fancy bathroom. Our cave doesn't have wifi, but there is one in the common cave lounge...Cave life has never been so good! We are in Cappadocia, our second and only other stop in Turkey besides Istanbul.

Cappadocia is everything we need and want it to be right now, at this point in our trip. The days have been glorious and sunny- which is not only wonderful, but also necessary- because its even colder here than in Istanbul. The thermometer on the bus here varied between 2 and 4 degrees Celcius. Maybe you've missed this, but we've been sweating our buns off in Asia for the last year- we aren't really carrying around a lot of winter gear. Thankfully, with the sun, I can get away with layering on every single piece (no exaggeration) of clothing that I have in my bag, including my pyjamas, and be comfortably warm during the day. It also helps to get the blood pumping. Goreme, the town in the region of Cappadocia where we are staying is perfectly located amidst countless valleys and trails, great for both exploring, and taking in the stunning scenery. We spent a happy four days doing just that!

Its certainly not tourist season here- which means we pretty much have all the valleys, trails and lookouts to ourselves. It really adds to the adventure of it. I'm under no delusion that we are pioneers out discovering hidden cave-houses and -churches that have been lost to the world for centuries, but wandering through the deserted cave villages, with not a soul in sight- it feels like it. When we stumbled upon an ancient secret cave church, built back in the first century when Christians carved out the caves of Cappadocia to live in, out of sight of the Romans, I felt like Columbus discovering (so our history books say) North America. It was so cool. Of course, we had to climb up some pretty precarious sandstone footsteps, and teeter across a narrow ridge to get there- but it was so worth it. Right, J? The church had three rooms, carved enclaves and frescoes painted on the ceilings and walls. Much of the outside wall had fallen away affording spectacular views over the landscape. Now, this would be a great place to attend Sunday service....

Cappadocia has been a refreshing and relaxing stop for us. We are really happy that we made the effort to get here, and that we spent time getting to know the area. Tonight, we head back to Istanbul on the overnight bus (where they give you free cake and tea!) and in a few short days we'll be flying to Brussels, where our wonderful friends Kevin and Vicky (whom we met back in NZ) will be picking us up at the airport (luxury!!) and whisking us back to Brugge, their hometown, where they have promised us two full days of gorging on Belgium chocolate, waffles, Trappist beer and great company! Can't wait!

p.s We also have been munching on delicious Gozleme (kinda like a quesadilla) on the recommendation of Leone- SO yummy and cheap! Thanks for the suggestion, Leone!

p.p.s There are lots more pics on our Flickr- click on the picture badge to the right!

1 comment:

Laura said...

YES! this is exactly the other spot in Turkey you should have chosen besides Istanbul. Love those overnight buses hey? My favourite part was the bus attendants...