Becoming Cave Women

Cappadocia (part 1)
By: Ellie
Istanbul to Cappadocia

Istanbul to Cappadocia

We left our Istanbul hostel early in the morning to catch a shuttle to catch a plane to Nevishir, one of the largest cities in the Cappadocia region, and one of only two airports. From there we had to take another shuttle bus to Goreme, our final destination. We are starting to realize that all of these budget flights we’ve booked are not as quick and cheap as we thought. But for the most part it was generally painless, there was a driver holding a paper with our names printed on it and the ride into Goreme was beautiful. We got our first taste of the mountainous landscape of central Turkey.

The shuttle dropped us right at our hostel, Yasin’s Place, and a guy- Emrah, who we would come to know very well over the next few days (and who claimed to be Yasin’s cousin, although we found out later that was not true), grabbed both our backpacks and brought them upstairs into the reception of our cave hostel. He made us some hot apple tea, which is very popular in Turkey, and is delicious even on a hot day, and told us about all the things to do in and around Goreme. After a little chat, he was ready to show us to our cave.
If staying in a cave sounds a little weird, let me try to explain why we are so excited about this region. There is a mystical rock formation in only this region, called fairy chimneys.

Our Hostel

Our Hostel

They were caused by thousands of years of erosion and were then hallowed out by man into several caves/rooms and used as buildings. Everything from early churches and homes, to restaurants and hotels are carved into these structures. Yes, most do miraculously have electricity and running water, too. They are incredibly cool inside, which is a plus because Turkey in the summer time can be brutally hot, as we are starting to figure out.
We really wanted to sleep in a fairy chimney during our four-night stay in Cappadocia. It was one of our major reasons for choosing this region as one of our destinations.

Our Cave Entrance

Our Cave Entrance

Our room was perfect. It had a tiny door, but then opened up into a larger room with a big bed and a Turkish couch- that basically means a bunch of cushions and pillows situated on the floor in the shape of a couch, but still very nice.

The Cave Room

The Cave Room

Cave Room
There was also only one tiny window, which meant that very little natural light came into our cave room, which was great, because we had been traveling since early in the morning, and after chatting with Emrah for a little while, we were exhausted. We needed to take a nap if we were going to be able to function at all later in the day.
We woke up in time for a little lunch and exploring of our new town. Goreme is tiny and quiet, a nice respite from the chaos of Istanbul. Also, no one hassles you in Goreme. Men say “hello” or, “Merhaba” but they aren’t trying to chase you down to get your number or sell you a carpet. We found a nice little place at the other end of the town (only a five minute walk) called the Vitamin Bar. There Kelly and I shared a Turkish crepe filled with veggies. After we ordered, the waiter/owner, called his mother out of the kitchen and she went to work making our crepe, which is kind of like a quesadilla, but they use this strange iron grill to heat them with. As we were leaving we saw the owner making a huge glass of fruit juice by hand and vowed to be back to have some juice later in the week.
Tradional Turkish CrepesYum!
When we got back to the hostel we were surprised to run into Adrian, one of the guys who was staying with us at the hostel in Istanbul a few days ago. He took the over-night bus in, and had just arrived that day. During the ride he met a 60-something year old Canadian guy, Brian who seemed pretty lost and unsure of how to spend his time in Turkey, and suggested he come to Goreme as well. The four of us sat on the roof terrace and chatted for a while over a few beers. We watched the sunset while the call to Allah played and all agreed that we had made the right decision by coming to this magical place.

The roof terrace

The roof terrace

Our view…

The view
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1 Response to “Becoming Cave Women”

  1. 1 Mandy June 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Kelly and Ellie! We have been checking out your trip and it looks amazing! The kids want to know more about Allah. Do they do this every day and how many times per day? Is it a recording, or is that someone yelling? Kahlen thinks it sounds creepy. We all hope you are having a great time and we miss you! Love- Mandy and family

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