After finishing my last beer around 12:30 last night, the alarm went off a few short hours later at 4:30. We were on our way to the middle of turkey, a region known as Cappadocia and the airport at Kayseri, an hour drive from our destination. Once we found the Hertz guy, and overcame the fact that our GPS did not work and some closed roads, we finally arrive in the small town of Goreme. If someone had simply dropped us in this place we would have sworn that we were on the moon. Well, maybe not the moon – but a scene out of some distant planet in a sci-fi movie. The land scape was full of what the locals call a “Fairy Chimney” and other unnatural-looking volcanic rock formations that sprung up from the rocky surface like trees. All around us were pink cliff faces and sandy colored rock ridges that protruded from the surface and all void of any real vegetation. It was simply different.
Driving in the town of Goreme, we made a left turn on to a back street/cow path and started to head up an alley way so steep and curvy it made my experiences in Scotland and Italy feel like I was driving on a 4 lane highway. As we approached what we thought was the last curve at the top of the hill a car came flying down directly at us I swerved I held my breath and waited for the impact as we stopped. The car passed us by something less than inches and we had a real near miss. Well not an actual near miss, because as we pulled out I managed to scrape the lowered passenger side on a curb. Our travel challenges continue.
Finally we checked into our hotel, the Arif. After everything I had read and researched about cave cities and cave hotels I wasn’t really sure what to expect, maybe a cheesy tourist trap maybe something memorable and cool? Let me tell you that these are the real deal. Our room was carved straight out of a large rock along with most of the hotel. A rounded entrance with a wooden door opens into our room – a literal cave dwelling with a nice double bed for me and a single for Jake. We had Fred Flintstone like windows carved out of the stone, along with a balcony and even a closet that we never used. We were going to be sleeping in a literal cave, and it had wifi too, what could be better – Yabba-Dabba Do!
After a quick lunch before heading out to explore the Underground Cities…