Overnight Bus Ride to Goreme, Crazy Volcanic Rock Formations

Goreme Travel Blog

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We took a 10 hour overnight bus ride from Pamukkale to Goreme. Dave and I had wanted to go to Cappadocia for most of the trip, but the weather reports for the first two weeks we were in Turkey looked grim: -18 degrees C and snow. Being from Southern California, it was like reading a weather report from a different planet. My favorite moment came when I checked the weather for Goreme one day and it said "Freezing Fog." I have no idea what freezing fog is, but it sounds pretty deadly, like an icy cloud that just descends upon a city and leaves nothing but cracked shards and people frozen in mid-stride on their way to work.
In any case, we saw an opening of good weather and decided to take the long bus ride to Goreme.

In theory an overnight bus ride sounds great. Don't have to pay for accommodation, it's a relatively cheap way of transport, and you get to recline back in a comfortable seat. At the very least I thought it would be a lot more comfortable than a comparable length plane ride. However, my idealistic notions were ruined, and I hope that at the very least this information will be useful to other travelers.

1) The suspension on the bus was terrible. Basically, you'd feel every bump and pothole along the entire ride. At least on this bus (Nevsehir Bus Company). Even microscopic rocks, the kind that would normally crumble under the weight of a 5-ton vehicle,  would somehow survive and then resonate throughout the feeble frame of the bus, causing you to inadvertently slam your head against the window.


2) There are no bathrooms. At least the buses in Eastern Europe had restrooms. More often than not they were just holes on the bottom of the bus, round windows through which you could watch the pavement flying by, and maybe they weren't even intended to be used. But at least they were there and nobody tried to stop you in an emergency. The bus stops randomly, every few hours along the route. But I wanted to sleep, and the last thing I wanted to do was wake up having to go to the bathroom seconds after pulling away from a stop. So my solution was to not drink any water, for the whole trip. Attack the problem from the source. Unfortunately, this left me really dehydrated and probably just as uncomfortable.

3) Recline your seat back...at your own peril!!! About 45 minutes into the trip things were still looking up.
They turned off the lights, and everyone was reclining their seats back to try to get some sleep on the long ride. I put my seat back and fell asleep and was having what I am sure were amazing dreams when I awoke to the pleasant sensation of a middle aged Turkish guy hitting my head and telling me to move my seat up. Or at least, that's what I think he was saying. I really had no idea as I had just woken up in a groggy state and I don't speak Turkish. But he was motioning at my seat and making an upwards motion with his hands. I'm normally a little bit grumpy in the morning, so my mood wasn't lightened by the fact that his own seat was reclined to the maximum position and the bus was half empty, so he could have simply sat anywhere else instead of punching me in the head. I didn't know the proper protocol for this sort of situation so I just stared at him, pointed at my head, shook my finger while saying "no" in English, and then stared at him some more, with angry tired eyes. He didn't bother me again, but I got slightly uncomfortable sitting in front of a possible maniac, so I just ended up moving to an empty row in the back of the bus to sleep for the rest of the ride.

Just in case you're wondering, this theme of reclining seats back and inciting the wrath of crazy people will reoccur in other blog entries from this trip...stay tuned.
spocklogic says:
Cappadoician weather is definitely unpredictable. I didn't encounter 'Freezing Fog', but some 'Mystery Mist' one day that came from nowhere - spooky!
Posted on: Jun 07, 2011
Eric says:
This was actually a trip form last year; and no, it was freezing cold for me! :)
Posted on: Jan 05, 2010
gejah says:
nice comfortable trip! And did you like the european weather?
Posted on: Jan 05, 2010
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photo by: spocklogic