"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cappadocia: Weird and Wonderful

Back in that first Cappadocia post, I mentioned a possible concussion as one of the memorable highlights of the trip.  Well.  As you may have guessed from its name, Shoestring Cave House boasts "cave rooms" for its guests.  I'm not sure exactly how natural or authentic these cave rooms are, but the dormitory consisted of three dark alcoves connected by doorways that were... somewhat lower than a normal doorway.  Compounding this interesting situation is the fact that you don't exactly get much light in a cave, even a man-made one.  My room was in the second alcove, and the only light from outside came from that which managed to filter around the curtain covering the small window way up in the first room.  It got kind of pitch black at night.

My third night there, I woke up at some predawn hour and really had to pee, so I groped my way along in the darkness towards the door.

I don't think I've ever in my life hit my head as hard as it connected with the top of this stone doorframe.  I mean, I seriously rang my bell.  I got the whole flash of light and nausea and everything.  It was really quite impressive.  I staggered on outside and peed successfully, then dragged myself back in and swallowed a bunch of advil.  (My roommates must have just loved me that night.)  The entire left side of my skull, from my forehead to the nape of my neck, was screaming in protest.  And as I lay there, praying for the advil to start working, it did cross my mind that maybe sleep was not precisely the thing to be trying to achieve right at that exact moment.  But at any rate, I appear to have survived.  Yay for me.

But seriously, Shoestring.  People are not five feet tall anymore.  Some glow-in-the-dark tape, or a night light or freaking something, would be appreciated.  Sincerely, me and the left side of my skull.

A few hours later, I woke up with blessedly less headache, and packed up for checkout, which was at 10:00 AM.  I hadn't had a chance to grab breakfast at the hostel yet, what with my early touring mornings, but made it up there on the last day.  The breakfast was pretty good, and definitively Turkish.  I didn't have to leave for the airport until 4:45, which meant I had practically a whole day to kill.  I decided to do a hike around Honey Valley, but first had to wait for a threatening thunderstorm to come and go, which took longer than I thought it had any right to.  At least I had an excuse for a pleasant slow morning in the courtyard, drinking tea and reading my novel.

And finally around noon I set out for Honey Valley.

Honey Valley has the prestige of boasting the most phallic fairy chimneys I'd seen thus far.  It also had literally about a dozen criscrossing paths, and I did not at all find it easy to figure out the right one, if even a right one was to be found.  There was one time when I decided I was for sure on the wrong path, backtracked, and chose another one which I followed for 20 minutes, only to find myself in practically exactly the same spot where I had turned around before.  Also, it was persistently thundering, and at least half the sky looked like that last picture there.  (While the other half looked like the rest of the photos at exactly the same time, go figure.)  I didn't want to be caught out in any untimely inclement weather, so after maybe two hours I turned around.  I feel like I got my money's worth from Honey Valley.

Back in Goreme, I got some manti for lunch at another Lonely Planet-sanctioned spot, then retreated once more to the comforts of Shoestring's roof terrace (and shady courtyard when the sun got hot).  My shuttle, flight, and short mass-transit journey back to my comfy apartment in Sirinevler went about as well as anyone ever hopes, and I wasted no time crawling into bed because tomorrow was going to prove a very long working day indeed.  Vacation is officially over, boys and girls!

I loved Cappadocia.  I had been so unsure as to whether it would prove to be worth it, because for sure this was not the simplest nor the cheapest trip I have ever booked.  But once everything was in place it just went beautifully.  And was it worth the money?  Unquestionably.  The jewel in the crown of my Turkish adventure, without a doubt.  I think a weekend would have been too short and a whole week too long, but four days was just about perfect.  I have definitely joined the ranks of the happy few singing Cappadocia's praises to al who might find themselves wandering through Turkey.

No comments:

Post a Comment