A Travellerspoint blog

THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

AKSARAY-CIDE (bus-bicycle)

-38 °C

Again we were driving whole night. To bad, because we crossed Taurus mountains and I wasnt able to see a thing. When we arrived to bus station near Cide sun began to rise. We had to cycle another 15km till we reached town. It is pure touristic place with lots of hotels. 20 years ago here was nothing and now this a mecca for rich tourists. Here you can buy rich watches, jewelery and fur almost on each corner:)
We found small cosy room in a pension with sea view. We decided to stay there for 2 nights and have a little fun.
Town is full of package tourists from all over the world. There are antient ruins everywhere with old theater. This is attracting lots of tourists, not to mentioned magical blue sea.
In the evening it was time for party and we went to club Oxyd which has a great reputation. We didnt have luck and club was close. Funny, because we were there earlier in the evening and they told us that party starts at 23. We were not happy about that, but we couldnt do nothing. On way back there were few clubs but they didnt allow us to enter:) Probably security guys noticed that we carry our own bottles and that we are drunk...
In the morning I was feeling bad again. Not used to drink any more...This days we used for resting and enjoying as thousands other tourists.

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Posted by Mitja 08:55 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

AKSARAY

IHLARA VALLEY-AKSARAY (bicycle)

33 °C

This day we had to cycle around 50 km of nice road. All the way terrain is going slowly downhill, so we were able to cycle fast and arrived at noon. Plan was to buy a ticket to Mediterranean sea and travel this distance by bus. Normally this shouldnt be a problem, but it was Friday and last school day. All buses were full and next available bus was at 1 in the morning. We couldnt choose, so we agreed to buy this tickets. After this we had to kill 12 hours of time. There was a lot of time for exploring the city.
Aksaray is small city in central Anatolia. It has around 170.00o residents. City was important stopover along silk road that crossed trough Anatolia for centuries. Today Aksaray is a quiet mid-size city. In recent past, many inhabitants migrated to Britain, Germany and other European countries for job opportunities.
Town has also a beautiful park in front of mosque, where local people are gathering.
Time went by and little after midnight we entered a bus to coast.

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Posted by Mitja 08:28 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

IHLARA VALLEY

MAZI-DERINKUYU-IHLARA VALLEY (bicycle)

sunny 27 °C

Ihsan was perfect host and prepare breakfast in his little office. Because he was buying all food, we gave him some money to cover the costs he had with us. Again he gave us a short cut directions which saved us few km of cycling later. I promised that I will return with my girlfriend in 2,5 weeks and we left.
I was feeling much better this day and hangover was long gone. This was more than welcome because we had to cycle 90km in this day which wouldnt be possible with headache. First we took a secondary sand road and cycled arround 15 km in hard conditions. Than we connected to main road and cycle another 25km to town Derinkuyu. In Derinkuyu there is another for public open underground city, which is also very popular attraction for tourist. We have skipped that one and only bought some water and food in the town and than start pedaling towards Ihlara valley.This valley was 55km away, but terrain was flat and we were moving fast. It didnt ake us more than 2,5 hours to reach it. Landscape was still magical since we were still in Cappadocia region. Ihlara valley was also formed by volcano eruption and is placed bellow 1 of 3 volcanos that shaped this region centuries ago (mount Erciyes).
Valley is 16km long and it is possible to walk trough to next village. Christian people lived here for same reasons as in the underground cities - hidding from Roman soldier. In valley there is hundred churches carved into the volcanic rock.
We arrived at 16 o clock. First we had to find accomodation. Camps in Turkey are to expensive and it is more economical to rent a room. In Ihlara there was a nice camp, but owner wanted only 10TL less than for the room. We decided to rent a room in a small pension. After shower and food we wanted to explore the valley. We arrived to main entrance at 17:30. Employee explained, that it is open till 18h and we dont have enough time to come back till than. We tried everything, but he was strong negotiator and his word was the last. No matter that we were able to watch this natural wonder. Too bad, that we didnt arrive 1 hour earlier...Later in the evening we made a plan for following day. We decided, that we will not return to valley, but cycle toward Aksary. Because we were in Capaddocia already for whole week, we already saw plenty of old churches, caves, underground cities, valleys and crazy landscapes. That is why we didnt feel to bad not entering the valley in the morning. Whle day we had sunny and warm weather and we cycled around 95km.

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Posted by Mitja 01:21 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

UNDERGROUND CITY

Goreme-Mazi (bicycle)

sunny 32 °C

I slept till 10 o clock and still waked up with terrible hangover. After good breakfast and 2 aspirin pills I was conditionally ready for 35km cycling. We left Goreme at 12 o clock and because of thi we were rewarded with extreme hot temperatures during our cycling. Terrain was not so simple and we were mostly climbing uphill. After 3 hours when we arrived I was more than happy that I dont have to cycle no more. Ihsan was waiting for us in local tea house. He introduced us with their major of the village and we dranked tea together. People here can not understand why we dont wear no socks in summer:) They all wear shoes and socks no matter high temperatures. It is probably in their religion because you can see same acting all over the country (exception are coastal touristic places and Istanbul).
After tea Ihsan was so friendly and made lunch for us in his small office. This gave us power for exploring underground city located in center of village. This city is one of 6 that are opened for public. At the time when we were there it was closed, but Ihsan has the keys and we were still able to see it.
This underground cities were used by first Cappadocia inhabitants for shelter and hiding from animal predators. Later Christians were using it for hiding from Roman soldiers. All cities were placed near village. In times where there was no danger, people were living in their houses. In case of danger, whole village was able to escape trough hidden tunnels in the underground city. Each house had own tunnel connected to the underground town. People were able to live there for long periods of time. They had even stables with animals inside. You can check more about this underground city on this links:

http://www.cappadociaturkey.net/undergroundcities.htm

http://www.cappadociaturkey.net/mazi_village_underground_city.htm

After underground city we explored also this small village. Nothing special to see here, but it is placed on great landscape. Ihsan was great host and made also dinner for all in his small office. This was not the end of his kindness and we were invited to overnight in his old house. First we wanted to camp because no any pension in this village, but sleeping on solid bed was more than welcome.

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Posted by Mitja 08:48 Comments (0)

BUAUTIFUL SUNNY CAPPADOCIA

Goreme

sunny 33 °C

Owner Ibrahim was very friendly and took good care of us. We were mostly drinking, eating and having a good time. Village is surrounded with magical landscape. People say, that it is similar as on the moon. I was never there, so I can not judge on this one:) In any case, I was never at similar place before. Because of nature caves, people lived here centuries ago. Many people still live in the caves, because it is cheaper as in a house. In summer temperatures rise up to 35 degrees and cave stays cooled. In winter when you make fire in a cave it stays worm much longer as in the house, so you use much less of fuel. Ibrahims parents still live in the cave near his pension during the summer. I was able to visit them and see the cave later when I returned with my girlfriend...
Special are also valleys that are everywhere. Ibo took us to his favourite valley. This was one of most beautiful things I saw in my live. This valley is placed only 0,5km from village. You must know where to enter, otherwise you might get hurt. It is a danger to climb down if you dont find the stairs. Stairs are carved in stone and you can climb down in valley. On the bottom it is very green. We were relaxing here for some time, before we had to get back to village.
In this 3 days we became friends also with Ibrahim helper Murat and another friend Ihsan. Ihsan invited us to his village where he is taking care of an ancient underground city. This sounded very interesting and we agreed to visit him. On last night he gave us a directions for short cut to village Mazi. I left few things I didnt need by Ibrahim, because I didnt want to carry it on my bike for nothing and I also knew, that I will return in 3 weeks with my girlfriend. Last night we had a good bye party and I was drinking to much which I later regret.

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Posted by Mitja 06:22 Comments (0)

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