After a 12 hour train ride trough high mountains and narrow passes (sadly at night) and mostly flat farmers land during the day i reached Kayseri, the capital City in the district of Cappadocia. Except for a huge Volcano in the background of the City i looked only at my Lonleyplanet Ratgeber, on how to get straight to the Otogar (Busstation) from the train station. I decided to take the local bus, and indeed it was a good idea, because some guy who i asked for advice helped me out. Not only that he took the bus with me to show me where to get off, but he also payed! the ride :o. Maybe he enjoyed a really good carma that day? Really i dont know, but i experienced also later on, that this kind of altruistic behavior and the kindness to help each other out is deeply shared and “coded” inside those people minds and lives.
In 1985 the UNESCO declared Göreme National Park and the Rock and Valley sites of Cappadocia as World Heritage. In 2010 Michael Kowalczyk arrived to the site at 16 pm on the 6th of September, the sun burning hot, nobody around, Siesta! Regarding World Heritage, here is a Checklist for everybody’s convenience, i scored 23 that day :)
Some wandering and searchin in the LP-Book brought me to a cosy dormitory in a place called the Kookaburra Pension with really nice atmosphere and sweet herbs aroma all around the place! The owner, whose eyes were so red, as if he had smoked herbs ever since, was kind of disturbed by my visit. He really was not in a good mood, but i managed to check in for two nights and book a daytrip to some locations around the Park for the next day, together with my roommate Claudile from France.
Dont miss the little panoramas included down here ↓ Just mouse over them to scroll inside the museum like Pension yard and the nightly terrace view over Göreme!
[photonav url=’https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O3JFAhTFbAI/TfTLKw0v1aI/AAAAAAAAChY/hV8tSG8RGT0/s1280/kokaburra-hotel-panorama.jpg’ mode=’move’ popup=’colorbox’]
[photonav url=’https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Hj6HQ567lO0/TfTLKXndTYI/AAAAAAAAChU/gPltc-OYMGM/s1280/g%2525C3%2525B6reme-night-pano.jpg’ mode=’move’ popup=’colorbox’]
On the next day, early bird Mr. Effe (our tour guide) showed up around 9am and hushed us to the other tourists, which were already waiting in the Minibus. Effe spoke fluent English with turkish accent :) He layed down the Plan (as every day during the season).. Driving for 1,5 hours, Deep Canyon, Dinner, Pidgeon City (aka the Star Wars shooting site ;), Underground City and lastly some serious discounts in a huge jewelery shopping center, which was camouflaged as living museum.
The Canyon was deep and beautiful. Effe in a hurry, the tourist in a hurry, no time to enjoy it. Hiking shoes recommended, some people wear flippers, not a good idea! In the middle of the Canyon two elderly people and a CocaCola fridge, ice cold! want some? Further we go, a river streams along the path, cold water to put your feet in you think? No time man! We are finally stopping somewhere. Dinner time! Ah yeah? Well then.. Seems like everything and everybody is concisely timed after a master clock. Chicken or Lamb? Fruits? Drinks cost extra. We are sitting in the middle of the “river” inside wooden tipi tents, actually a nice idea…if only the stream could be less polluted with alge and plastic bottles. Someone from the group has no luck that day, inside his wooden tent a rusty nail sticks out the wood about 2cm, just where the exit is. Head hits nail hard, hole in the head, bloody mess + ?. No one is reacting, neither responsible. Who the fu.. constructed this tent anyway. No time for long discussion, we gotta hit the road.. next stop: The official Star Wars shooting site! WoW! I really did not know that SW was produced around here and as a fan of the Saga from childhood on :o Awesome! But wait… something is wrong..here is how the site looked like…
..a fantastic place! For the sake of photography, i would have stayed there the whole day, just to see how the light, shadow and colors change..but as you can guess..NO friggin time, just 30 minutes for a whole 600m high Mountain full with pathways and cathedral like rooms :(
And regarding SW i thought it was just a joke form Effe to bring some more adventure inside the bus…everybody was like nah, never ever this is SW shooting site…blah…and until the writing of this post i was 100% sure Star Wars was not produced there. But it seems in every thing there is some truth, hehe, so dig this: In 1982 some serious Turkish filmmakers made a remake of SW, and called it Turkish Star Wars ..LOL! Consider it as a MUST-See Masterpiece of the Turkish bootlegging crafts, with seriously bad acting, hilarious costume design….in total, one of the worst movies i have ever encountered.
Read the sign below..it says Underground City. Cappadocian people not only liked to live in Mountain Cities with great panoramic views but also dig them deep into the ground, just like at Yeralti Sehri. The City is up to 8! floors deep, full with all kind of invisible pitfall traps, Indiana Jones like stone doors, stalls, wells, graves, moan sounds and screams from sociopaths, hiding deep down below (last ones not necessary during the official opening hours :p) Approximately 20 thousand inhabitants lived! in this underground City, hiding and protecting their top land from bad-ass invaders by jumping suddenly out of a hole!? Plus, they all had backs issues, or they were mostly Lilliput like people? :) I can NOT recommend you to visit such a City if you have problems with your back or show any signs of Claustrophobia! At least there are electronic lamps!
Wow, this was a long and most interesting trip so far. Before the end Effe droppped the group out at a totally “not so traditional” jewelery and gemstone fabric “to show how it was made ;)” yees right, go and buy some gemstones! Some people did, and i waited outside where more traditional stuff waited since a a long time.
Tomorrow we will be wandering trough one of Göreme´s famous valleys, picking mature fruits by the way, runaway from blood thirsty watchdogs and experiencing how persuasive Turk man can be …stay tuned!