Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today i flew from Izmir to Kayseri (via Istanbul) and took an hour bus ride to Göreme, in Cappadocia, where i will be for about 3 days.  The drive here was incredible - nothing but farmland and dry hills, patches of yellow melons, sunflowers and corn. I saw horses and donkeys, goats and cows. As we approached Göreme, the landscape became dryer and weirder.
I can't really describe it except to say that it looks like it is from another planet. The rocks jut out from the earth in a variety of shapes: cones, jagged shards, shitake mushroom and white asparagus. Into the large conical ones are carved rooms and windows. There are caves carved into every rock face that will support it. I honestly sat open mouthed in sheer wonder as we drove into the town. I have never seen anything like it. The town is very small: about two streets with restaurants and shops (obviously catering to tourists) and the rest is just residential and farmland. If it weren't for the extraordinary landscape that brings the travellers, this town would be a ghost town. As it is, many of the houses in the town are very shabby, with rough stones for walls and roofs of sticks and tin. Men drive through the streets on tractors and donkeys and carts with their produce on display.  I LOVE it here.

I am staying at the Sato Cave Hotel and my room is carved out of the rock - that said, it is not entirely rustic, as it has plumbing and electricity (but no AC). They gave me a room for three people, so ıt ıs huge and ı have an enormous bed. The rooftop of my hotel has a terrace with a fabulous view. This is where they serve breakfast in the morning. The hotel also has a pigeon coop. I am not sure why.

I will spend the next two days visiting the rock valley and the underground cities.
It is so amazing here. I cannot wait for tomorrow.

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