Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fairy Chimneys and Flying Carpets

After several days in Istanbul, we booked tickets for an overnight bus to Goreme, Turkey, the heart of an area known as Cappadocia.  Cappadocia is something of a surreal landscape where for centuries the locals have lived inside caves and assorted rock formations that basically look like something out of a dream.  The popular term for the formations is "Fairy Chimneys" but if you're interested your best bet would be to google Cappadocia for an idea of the geography--I don't think the term does it justice.  Tony and I booked a two day tour and had a chance to visit all the most popular spots.  Personally I wasn't crazy about visiting the sites as part of a guided tour but I will say that the guide added something to the history of the area and we also had a chance to see handmade ceramics and carpet weaving, right down to the fibers of the silkworm being spun on the wheel.  A very interesting experience, and the intricacy that goes into a handmade carpet is astounding--for example, a silk carpet at about 2.5 x 4 feet, takes one hardworking Turkish woman (the men sell the carpets and the women make them here) about one year to complete.  Cost: $10,000.  Ouch.  But they were beautiful.

Yesterday we also signed up for "Turkish Nights", a popular evening program consisting of some authentic Turk cusine, as well as several other aspects of Turkish Culture--we watched Whirling Dervishes (a Mystical sect of Sufi Islam, founded in Turkey), traditional Central Asian dancing popular throughout the 'Stans (as well as Bulgaria, Hungary and Russia so I'm told), and some belly dancing to top the night off.  Crowd participation was highly encouraged, and since Tony and I found ourselves essentially ringside we were dragged onto the dance floor on numerous occasions...Throw in a tour bus of Chinese tourists and with booze included as part of the set price--it made for an interesting evening.  I can attest that both the red and white wine made locally aren't bad...haha.

We've thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Cappadocia but it's time to move on.  We've booked another overnight bus to Fethiye, down on the Meditteranean Coast where the weather's warmer and we'll get prepared for Lycian Way, a 500 kilometer trek on what's known as the Turquoise Coast.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Great stuff Jerod!! Glad you and Tony are living large!

  2. Oh my God this is sooo frustrating Anthony Francis! Im just trying to get in contact with you and cant figure it out.. I didnt even know you had left and am overwhelmed with amazement for all that you have done! Um.. I miss you.. you hairy son of a bitch! Hopefully my message hasnt been posted 3 times now.. Mwah Mwah Mwah! Jenny

  3. oh yea.. do you still have my email? If not let me know through this blog.. wow I figured it out! xoxoxo Jenny

  4. Hi Tony,
    It is so great to have your blog to follow to keep up with your experiences. I miss not seeing you for so long but am grateful you got a chance to visit us in Tacoma on your bike trip. Noah has moved to Orcas Island to go to school and live with his dad. Jeffry and I are working hard but are planning a trip out East this summer. Nat is enjoying his classes at Tacoma Community Classes. Sad we are putting my mother's and father's house on the market. I miss them.

    Blessings on the rest of your trip and your reentry plan. Love, Monica

  5. Hey Tony
    finally got time to log on.
    Blog looks great, trip looks even better.
    Wish I was with you guys.
    Safe passage and love from the girls
    David Jana Emma & Mia.
    PS be careful, I can't bail you out from here.