Ürgüp is Awesome!

The rock formations Cappadocia is famous for.

The rock formations Cappadocia is famous for.

July 12-13, 2009 – Ürgüp, Cappadocia, Turkey

WOW – what a weekend!

Will just give you the highlights here… Arrived by bus to Ürgüp, in Cappadocia, after a hearty breakfast and 5-hour bus ride from Ankara.  I had been up for ages (that first 4:30 am morning call to prayer does it every time), but after a quick lunch it was time to hit the trail – ATV style that is.

We heard from friends that the way to see beautiful Cappadocia was off-road via ATV and were they ever right! We spent about two hours traversing Pigeon Valley, Valley of the Roses, etc. It was my first time on an ATV – although definitely not my last. I’m thinking an ATV is exactly what the mini house needs! We got some priceless footage too with my new Flip. More to come on this excursion for sure! Read More and Watch the Video

Our cave hotel: very dark and quiet inside.

Our cave hotel: very dark and quiet inside.

After getting air-hosed down, we went back to our cute little cave hotel, Elkep Evi, where we sat and toasted the sunset with some Raki, an aniseed brandy that clouds up when you add a bit of water (and is 45 proof). 

The sunset melted over the landscape of “fairy chimneys” as they’re called – rock formations in the shape of columns, pyramids, mushrooms and other unmentionables. 

These mountains house thousands of Byzantine cave dwellings that you can explore. We had a drunk French-speaking man as an impromptu guide. He sure knew all the inner chambers though and the best way to crawl though. (I think ‘cause he was living in some of ‘em). 

Our French-speaking tour guide got me up here (um, I don't speak French)
Our tour guide got me up here!

After getting cleaned up properly, we headed out to see the Whirling Dervishes. I’ve been waiting a long time (12 years!) to see the Dervishes, since I missed them the last time I was in Turkey. 

The ceremony was unbelievable – truly breathtaking to see.  I’m writing a fuller post on this experience to be called

“To Whirl or Not to Whirl: the Dervish Debate”  — so stay tuned this week!

Yesterday was quite the day, and today was equally packed. We started with a lovely al fresco breakfast in a beautiful garden and spent the day riding throughout the countryside on scooter visiting churches and monasteries.

Our bus back to Ankara this evening was another full 5 hours, so I’m a bit pooped (and it’s after 2:00 am!)


Monastery outside of Cemil, Cappadocia

Monastery outside of Cemil, Cappadocia

Oh and by the way, itinerary is officially changed. 

Going to skip Istanbul (been there already) and head out on an overnight bus to Ka?, where we will be doing more adventure sports on the Mediterranean coast. 


Whoo hoo!


This entry was posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009 and is filed under Europe.

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