This past weekend we went to Cappadocia. We took an overnight bus from Istanbul to Nevsehir Saturday night. The bus ride was tiring but better than expected—we got to charge our phones and the bus was clean. After the 11-hour bus ride, we reached our final destination-Goreme at 8 o’clock in the morning. The bus station was at the center of the town. There were several travel agencies, but unlike most touristic places, no one was aggressively trying to sell us their tours or anything. The sun was bright and the sky here was much, much clearer than in Istanbul. I saw people drinking çay, petting cats, or just doing nothing under the sun. I liked it.
After a quick check-in at our lovely hotel, Jennifer and I went on the red tour with a travel agency. Since we had a not so good experience with guided tour last weekend visiting the Sultanahmet area, I personally didn’t have high expectations for the red tour. But it turned out much better than expected. Our guide was responsible and funny. We went to the open air museum, the wine factory and some other places. The scenery was amazing. What really impressed me was our lunch. We dined at a beautiful cave restaurant with a Mediterranean décor. Lunch included appetizer, main course, and desert. The main course was pottery kebab. Watching the waiter cut the pot on fire half open was quite cool.
We didn’t do much the first night there, just had a nice dinner and walked around the little town. Although Goreme is a touristy town, it was neither crowded nor noisy at all. Most part of the town, actually, was quiet. I could hear the sound of people making food, the call to prayer, and of a cat snoring in front of a rug store. After the busy school life and the immersion in a big city like Istanbul, I felt extremely refreshing at this peaceful moment.
Later that night we had a conversation about the discrimination Asians received based on racial stigmas. As an Asian (not an American), I couldn’t relate to most racial oppression Asian Americans received because I am not part of them. What upsets me ıs the generalization of certain issues, like “Asians don’t sweat.” or “Asians can’t make friends with people of other races because they only hang out with Asians.” To not divert from the theme of this post, I’ll not comment here.
Lanterns from the street shop Scarfs
The second day we did the green tour. We went to different valleys, the underground city, and the cave monastery. The underground city was like a place from The Hobbit or Harry Porter. Aside from how cool and amazing it is, I couldn’t imagine living there for days or even months. During the tour we met an old couple from China. They were both at their 70s and knew very little English. They were traveling by themselves and have been to Egypt, South America, North America and most countries in the Middle East. With English and some Turkish words, I already felt hard traveling here. How did they manage to tour around so many countries by themselves with just Chinese? I was in awe.
5 a.m. sunrise, it was cold…
TheChinese couple with us
We ended our trip with Turkish Night, which was a set of traditional Turkish dance performances with a full course dinner. It was fun but not really amazing. As I'm writing this post, I just finished a day filled with work. Cant believe the trip ended yesterday, I wish we could've stayed longer. But the break was a great pump for turning back my focus to the busy life in Istanbul, and there are more exciting explorations in the coming few weeks that I really look forward to!
A cute kid we met on the tour