Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cappadocia - a Hedonistic journey

Today's Google Doodle
Today happens to be the 50th Anniversary of the Flinstones and to celebrate it I'm going to tell you about a place that's something just like Bedrock.

Where will you be flying to today? asked the man at the airport check-in counter.
My grandmother promptly replied - Turkistan.
I never quite understood her obsession with that word.
That day we were actually taking a flight to Kayseri from where we were to drive down to paradise.



It's one of those po-tay-to  -  po-taa-to sort of words.

We had one of the 'usual' travel stories. I stared out of the window for most of the flight watching the clouds cast their shadows on the calm blue sea while being surrounded by the 'regular' people on the flight.

  • The loud family member - my grandmother - who laughed right through the flight while reading Absolute Khushwant, a book everyone came to read on the trip.
  • The random person reading something weird - this time it was a lady reading The Bastard from Istanbul by Elif Shafak. I wonder what that was about.
  • And lastly there's either one of the two - the crying baby OR the annoying American.

As much as I get irritated with the crying baby, you can never blame them for crying. I have also cried with ear pain on flights.
But as my luck would have it, I had an annoying American who wouldn't shut up about how the online car industry was going to be the next big thing to hit the world. I can't even say I loved her confidence. 

Driving down to Cappadocia made me feel like I had just fallen asleep and was a part of my very own dream. Rüyasi in Turkish (I can't help but show off about the few Turkish words I've learnt).

Truly breathtaking. It's one of those must-see places. It's basically made up of volcanic rock that was formed from the ashes of 3 volcanoes that erupted millions of years ago. This soft rock made it easy to carve out of and people built homes, churches and amazing hotels too.
It was more than obvious then that I would be soon buying myself an authentic pumice stone. Bye bye Dr. Scholl.

Wine at Turasan
It was one of those places you go to to relax. Not much to do besides basking in the sunlight, eating, reading magazines, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice, going for walks, eating more, playing cards, drinking wine and eating some more. 

And obviously drinking apple tea. 
My most amazing observation: When the granules of apple tea mix with the hot water, it looks just like the bioluminescent plankton in the movie The Beach

The highlight of being in Cappadocia was going for the hot air balloon ride.

We woke up at 4:30 am. It was so cold. Not a time for the bum shorts to make an appearance.

We got to an open ground where they were setting up 2 balloons.

Watched the sunrise as we went up in the balloon.

At one time I counted about 50 balloons. Try it.

Cappadocia from up above looks like a beautiful meringue made by Jamie Oliver. It nearly made my mouth water.

Weren't quite ready to land even after an hour.

Celebrated our flight with Champagne.

No checking-in, no immigration, no turbulence and a pilot with a great sense of humour - Undoubtedly the best flight ever!
And we even got a certificate.

Our wonderful hotel
Cappadocia was awesome. What made it even better was our hotel, Elkep Evi.
We had large cave rooms with big comfy beds, lots of magazines to read, a sit-in closet and a music system with a lot of cds. 
I was expecting to find a CD of Tarkan's Kiss Kiss but found and listened to everything from La Traviata to Christmas Carols and Kenny G.
Now La traviata isn't my kind of music but it was weirdly relaxing. Which made me wonder, did I enjoy it cause I'm from a different time?
As a child, I believed that I was from the future cause when I heard the Macarena for the first time, it felt like a deja vu. Does that make any sense?

Aku, Halil & me with
 a random Japanese lady
We also did a day tour of Cappadocia with our guide, Halil. 
He made Turkey seem even more beautiful than it was.
He told us about their culture. Turkish people seem quite similar to Indians in a way. Quite family oriented. It isn't a very strict Islamic country as people seem to be eating and drinking freely even during Ramadan. They also call Eid Bayram.

Another random fact about Turkish people : They're not much into junk food. They prefer to munch on sunflower and pumpkin seeds instead of chips.

Being scared away by Muhammed in Istanbul, we thought of going for a Hamam in Cappadocia but luckily Halil warned us in time and saved us from being bathed by men yet again.

Trying hard to make the
Will you Marry me sugar pot at Avanos
He took us to see
  • the beautiful churches in Goreme. All carved out. 
  • To Avanos, famous for its pottery. It is said that back in the day if a boy wanted to marry a girl, her father would ask him to make a sugar pot. Now, a sugar pot has 2 parts, the jar and the lid. If the lid fit the jar meant that the boy was a good potter, fit enough to marry the girl.
  • To a wine store - Cappa wines where we tasted wines - don't know what else we could've really done there. I also learnt the Turkish word for Wine from the paper bag. It's şarap.
  • A jewellery store where I learnt that Turquoise is called Turquoise because it's Turkish quartz. I think. And the men at the store were for some reason trying to find me a Turkish husband.

Why I loved Cappadocia
Waking up in Cappadocia everyday brought a smile to my face.

I felt like I was in a room carved out with love.

My sit-in closet
A room with a view

I was surrounded by the kindest of animals.

Ate lovely cheese pancake - like stuff for breakfast.

My hair looked straight everyday.

At breakfast here was jam, jam and more jam.

And they have the cutest ice-cream man who entertains you.

Hated to have to leave Cappadocia for obvious reasons.
While we were in Avanos, we visited a pottery store where we were shown a special bottle that the Turkish people would make to store their tears. This was used by women when their men were at war so when their husbands returned they could show them how much they were missed.
I thought this was just so beautiful.
To be dramatic I would've loved showing how much I miss Cappadocia in the very same way but then again I think my blogpost makes it pretty clear.


osman doğan said...

very nice pictures.. u live in cappadocia ?

Neha said...

No. But I wish i did. I was holidaying in Turkey last September and thats when I took these pictures.

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