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.