Entry Info

6th (Mon)
Sep 2010

[day122] The Roads of Cappadocia

The Roads of CappadociaGyoreme National Park and Rock Site of Cappadocia is registered as the "mixed (Nature and Culture)" world heritage which is in fact quite rare among number of world heritage sites. Pillars of strange shaped stoned around there, the surroundings look totally in another world. I heard that some parts of Cappadocia were used as the sets of Star Wars Episode1. In fact, I could possibly believe if someone presented a photo of Cappadocia as "from another planet". The local people had been living inside of the rock caves until recently and there are still many caves remaining over the area.

The accommodation at Gyoreme

The Roads of Cappadocia>What's more, an interesting thing about Cappadocia is that you can sleep inside the caves. Besides, not only the expensive touristic hotels, there are some reasonable backpackers hostels available too. At this time, we stayed at "Yashin's Backpackers Cave" which is reviewed in avery good manner at hostelworld.com. Although Shin and Tomoko, who were travelling with me, hadn't booked there, the owner, Yashin, kindly gave us a three bed private room. Yashin knows everywhere about Gyoreme since he's been brought up there. Restaurants, tour info, Turkish Spa etc., his advice(with discount!) helped us a lot. I found 20TRY(15USD) per night with a deliciously cooked breakfast was very reasonable. Though the quality and cleanness of the facility were not as good as the decent hotels', their personal service and hospitality could be on a par with the 5 star luxurious hotels.

As the weather was bit tricky, Cappadocia in early May was a kind of off season in Turkish local tourism. In fact, there were a few European groups at the accommodation and Gyoreme town didn't look very busy. However, quite a few Japanese tourists were walking on the street. Besides, they were not backpackers, but ordinary tourists who used huge tour buses and went to luxurious cave hotels with spa and pool. I knew Turkey is one of the favourite destinations among Japanese tourists, but when we thought about it carefully it was the middle of a Japanese holiday week, the so called the Golden Week. We have to be careful for that we could lose the sense of days easily during the long journey.

Pros and Cons of package tours

The Roads of CappadociaIn terms of package tours, I don't really like them. In fact, because of that I'm bad at travelling with groups, I'd rather choose travelling alone. Nevertheless, so vast is the area of Cappadocia of which a number of famous spots dotted within several ten kilometres radius that we were encouraged to join the local tour. The tour was so-so, just as we expected. In fact the guide efficiently took us through many places, which were not really reachable as a personal tourist, such as the underground city and the old monastery but "the efficient guide" was bit argumentative as he hurried us when we wanted to stay longer whereas he remained longer where we didn't care much. I know he had to make his pace for "the greatest common good" of the all participants but I painfully realised that I should avoid the tours attempting to cover a lot of places. Probably, the best way is chartering a taxi and asking the driver just to take us to the entrance of the places but the budget no longer allowed the ordinary backpacker to do so.

My best form of travelling

The Roads of CappadociaTherefore, for the near spot, disregarding to the efficiency we decided to go there by ourselves with the local bus info from the accommodation and a rough map from a guidebook. Following to the advice from the local people and the intuition of travellers, we made headway to the destination. If I'd travelling completely alone, I could've been a bit worried about daring this kind of adventure but my amiable fellow travellers could change the situations drastically. Even losing and recovering the way became a sort of fun. Speaking so, I suppose a couple travelling together is a kind of ideal form. Though sometimes they have to overcome the ordeals, as far as the couples I know looked keeping their distance moderately and enjoying themselves travelling together.

The Roads of CappadociaAfter walking on the wild land with strange stones, finally we arrived at the destination. This mushroom shape stone is a kind of icon of Cappadocia as the photo of it is overly used on every guide book about this area. Not caring about the geologic instructions, the different layers which were eroded blah blah blah, we were just stunned by the shapes of the stones which were different from the ones around Gyoreme central. Incidentally, we found out from the view on the stones that we didn't use the proper paved roads but just wandered along the local farm roads. Thanks to not being led by an experienced guide, we could enjoy this type of adventure. In these days, I strongly believe that travelling is not just having fun at destinations but it is literary 'travelling', I mean the whole process of going to and coming back from the destination is an entertaining part of travelling.

The Roads of CappadociaOn the way back to Gyoreme, we were challenged by going back on foot as the bus didn't come soon. When we came there it took less than 15 minutes by bus. So it should take no more than 1 and half hours even on foot. It would be pleasant walking as the view on the street was quite nice even though we'd already walked more than 3 hours. After walking 30 minutes under the intense sunshine on the early May, we were called by the local guys driving a car. They asked us "Where are you going? You can come with us." It's very kind of them indeed. "To Gyoreme!", we replied and they gestured "Come in." Thanks to them we skipped a one hour walk. Although I could've had a bit of serious concern if I had been alone, we had three people and they were two. Considering the locality, we judged it wouldn't be very dangerous. Though sometimes it sounds bit tricky, the kindness from the local people always cheers me.

Like this and that, we spent 5 nights in Gyoreme. The next destination will be Istanbul the bridge between Asia and Europe. At last the travelling on the Middle East is close to the end.

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In order to present well organised articles, this blog is not updated on real time base. (You can find "Entry Info" on the left panel, "updated on" and "travelled on") Regarding to the current information about me, please follow satoshionoda_e on twitter. I'm tweeting almost every day.

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