Cappedocia - a cold front is coming now

Urgup Travel Blog

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The unusual shape of rock formed by the elements.

Had to leave Olympos fairly early in the morning to get to Cappedocia. In the paper they wrote about the weather in the last couple of days it had been record breaking temperatures causing all sorts of problems with people getting heatstroke and even some truck drives dying while they were waiting to cross the border into Iraq.


But now there were a change in the weather. There where a cold front or something coming along the temperature would be lower today. The forecast predicted only a measly 39-41 degrees Celsius. A drop of about 5 degrees from the day before - better get the jumper out of the backpack. Of course 40 are still about 5 degrees more than it has ever been home in Copenhagen in my lifetime.


After a long day of driving I finally arrive in Cappedocia - in the small town of Urgup.

It's in the afternoon but already driving to town you can see some of the amazing rock formations that made this area a tourist attraction.


In Urgup my impression of the Middle East started to change. Before coming I had believed a country like would be strict in a religious sense not tolerating any alcohol and I was unsure about whether or not they would accept traditional western summer closing with it's short sleeved shirts and such.


I met some people who had just arrived in Turkey this day from Syria. They had brought and unusual souvenir - a 3 litres vodka bottle they had got at the duty free at the Syria border for 24$.

What was all this about buying spirits in Syria legally? A fundamentalist Muslim country with an undemocratic government where such things as alcohol should be ban by law? I was confused all my predisposed ideas about Syria started to come toppling down suddenly.


Well the other group game up with a challenge - we had to finish this bottle of vodka during the night - they had a bit of a head start they appeared to have been drinking for a few hours but it was not too late to join in and dip into the vodka bottle. It took a few hours but with a combined effort of about 15 persons we managed to complete the mission - result one empty vodka bottle and a few people ready to go to sleep.


Next morning it was time to go out and explore the mysterious landscape of Cappedocia.

Cave houses in Cappedocia
The mountains around is really unusual and you can only find something like it a few places on earth  


All over there would be rocks with strange round shapes formed by water and wind during millennia. Walking along amongst these rock formations is kind of outer worldly it's a bit like walking on a different planet. It is not all that far from the truth after all some of the scenes from Star Wars has actually been filmed around this area - hence I am not the only one feeling this place belong on a different planet.


After the visit around the lone rock formations it is one to the next stop. In a couple of valley there are several old cave houses where people used to live for several thousands years. The place was vacated back in the 60s and 70s when people where getting apartments in the nearby town and today the remains are open for tourist as an open air museum.

More cave houses in Cappedocia


You can walk along a se the caves where people used to live all year round. In a place where the summer is blistering hot and the winter bitterly cold. Apparently the caves would give protections from the outside climate and keep the temperature at a reasonable level inside. In the valleys there were caves with both churches and mosques cut inside the cliffs through the centuries Christians had lived along with Muslims in the area.


The last stop on the tour was an old underground city where people used to live in the old days. It may or may not have been a very impressive sight on the tour - but it didn't leave any lasting impression on me. I had completely forgotten about this stop until I check the description of the tour.


At night it was time for an original Turkish night with belly dancing - it sound a bit dubious but it had the magic words in the description of the night - all you can eat and drink.


The food was good Turkish food far better than what you could have expected from set up. And there was plenty of it to go around as well. The only minus in the whole drink and dinner set up was the red wine - it would be better suited to clean toilets than to drink. This is was my first ever attempt on Turkish red wine and it will take some convincing to make a second try.


After dinner the dancing started it was actually far more comprehensive than what I had expected. It was not just belly dancing like it used to be on the substandard (and cheap) Turkish restaurant I went to so frequently in my uni days. There were all kinds of traditional Turkish dancing including some whirling dervish who are very different to most other dancing I have ever seen. After the professionals had there go they started to invite the spectators up on the flour.


After the dinner there would be two options considering I would be leaving early the next morning to go to Syria the wise and safe option would be to go to bed and sleep. But that would also be the boring option. Hence instead of going to bed - I join a few others to walk across the street into a local bar. In the middle of Turkey it could be nothing else - but an Australia bar. The barmaid were from somewhere in Oz the costumers were from Oz and so fourth. But it was a great place with good company and the beers were cold and the shish came on table during the night and we all had a great time until some unknown time in the morning - the off to get a long night sleep of perhaps a full 2 hours before I had to get up and get ready to leave for Syria the next morning.

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The unusual shape of rock formed b…
The unusual shape of rock formed …
Cave houses in Cappedocia
Cave houses in Cappedocia
More cave houses in Cappedocia
More cave houses in Cappedocia
Close up at a cave house.
Close up at a cave house.
Rocks in Cappedocia
Rocks in Cappedocia
photo by: spocklogic