Day 28 (1): Going through hell to get to heaven
Goreme Travel Blog› entry 37 of 260 › view all entries
May 3rd, 2010 – by: Biedjee
For whatever reason I was not allowed to put my feet in the aisle, which for me is the only way I can sleep in these buses as they are horribly lacking leg-room in this country. So she kept waking me up. All! Night! Long! Every time she walked past and she saw one of my feet sticking out she would wake me. For what reason? I have no idea. There's no one walking in the bus anyway. Well apart from her obviously. But after a while she got fed up with it, so instead of gently waking me she started kicking me instead. I believe that at one point (while sleeping, of course) I did kick her back and after that she didn't bother me anymore.
After a change of buses in Nevsheyir I arrived in Göreme just after 8 o'clock. Göreme is probably the most visited place in Eastern Turkey and as such it has a very well set up tourist infrastructure. At the bus station there is a small tourist office, which can book accommodation (though they are not allowed to give any advice).
Göreme is in the middle of the Cappadocia region, a region famous for its volcanic landscape. A few million years ago two volcanoes had erupted and covered the entire region under a thick layer of volcanic ash. Years of erosion had washed away the softer volcanic soil, leaving thousands or rock formations and pinnacles, lovingly dubbed “fairy chimneys”. The surreal landscape makes Cappadocia one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations and justly so.
People used to live in the natural caves in the pinnacles, many of which have now been transformed into hotels and pensions. Despite being overrun with tourists and full of hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist facilities, Göreme still feels like a lovely little village and its setting amidst the fairy chimneys is absolutely stunning.
My hotel, the Anatolya Cave Pension was a good choice. Partially occupying some caves in two large fairy chimneys.
Not only does it offer comfortable beds and a terrific breakfast, its friendly staff can also book any excursion in the area for you, offering honest advice rather than imposing the tours which bag them the most commission on you.
Although I had wanted to do some hiking on my own in the area, I knew that if I was staying in the hotel now, I would probably just go back to bed and not do all that much. So to make the most of my day I booked myself on a tour. There are four main tours in the area, of which the 'Red' (north) and 'Green' (south) tours are the most popular. The French couple I had met on my Afrodisias trip had advised me to do both these tours, so when I was able to nab the last seat available on the green tour, the longer of the two, I booked it without hesitation.
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