Days 11 – 14: Turkey [Konya, Göreme & Cappadocia region]

Day 11 – Sunday 1st July

I was very glad today that we had an early night as the others stayed out very late and today was another early start, as per usual. The bus left Kaş for a journey that took us first to Antalya (3.5 hours) and then onwards after lunch on another bus to our next destination, Konya (5.5 hours). Quite a long day on the bus!

Konya was the first Selçuk Turk capital and home of Mevlana.
It was almost night time  upon arrival and after we had checked in to our hotel, Burak took us around the corner  to see a demonstration of felt making.

Demonstration of felt making

It was quite interesting to see how they make certain patterns and items of clothing like the hats for the Dervishes. I was pretty close to buying a felt beanie but decided against it, regrettably.

Trying on felt hats

Aidan the Whirling Dervish

After our long bus journey today most of the group were pretty tired so decided to call it a night, while I went with Burak, Nick and Aidan to watch Spain Vs. Italy in the Euro Cup final. Spain won 4-0 which made for a interesting watch, except for Italy fans. We watched the game in a Turkish tea house with some locals smoking shisha.

Day 12 – Monday 2nd July

Today started off with a visit to the tomb of Mevlana and a museum dedicated to the Sufi sect. Before this trip I was oblivious to the Sufi’s so it has been very interesting learning so much about them and their history.

Amazing looking calligraphy from the museum

The museum was exceptionally crowded – which I think had a lot to do with it being school holidays.

Creepy mannequins

We didn’t stay too long and departed mid-morning to travel to the amazing Cappadocia region. Along the way we stopped at what used to be camel pit-stops. They are situated every 41km’s as that is how far camels can go before collapsing. It was sort of like an old fashioned temple with big open rooms for resting. The rooms still had an odour of camels about them.

After arriving to Cappadocia and check-in, Burak took us for our orientation walk around town then up top to get some fantastic views and panorama shots of the area[see previous post]. The rock formations are incredible!

Aidan & Burak overseeing area

After walking around some more we were taken to visit a local family in their home where she prepared some delicious food for all of us.  It was great to be able to dine with a family and they were very friendly – the food was soup, rice and beans, then watermelon for dessert. She did extremely well to accommodate for all 13 of us, with still some left over. Afterwards we went to a local pub that was very Aussie inspired, called ‘Fat-Boys’. Over a couple beers we played Jenga and a few games of Pictionary too – lots of fun! Our plans to go hot air-ballooning tomorrow were quashed by the very windy forecast.

 Day 13 – Tuesday 3nd July

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MAMA BEAR! 🙂 (miss you mum!!)

 Organised for today was a hike through the beautiful valleys of Cappadocia to get up close and personal with some surreal rock formations.

Burak organised a mini bus to take us after our hike through the valley to visit an underground city, Derinkuyu, another very interesting site. These cities were built underground to protect its inhabitants from any enemies . After the underground city it was time to visit the open air museum; which consists of some some churches, still with intact frescoes of stories from the bible, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

It was hard to realize our time together in Turkey was coming to a close. It’s been such an amazing country and definitely the best tour group ever [this was even confirmed by Burak!]

We went out for a traditional meal for our last supper, but a meal none of us had yet tried. The meat, chicken or lamb, is cooked for 3 to 4 hours inside a claypot then cracked open upon our arrival – it was absolutely delicious!

 Day 14 – Wednesday 4th July

Today was like a dream! Jenny, Aidan, Annie, Deb and I had to wake up just after 4am to get ready for hot air ballooning. We were taken to an airfield and waited inside while have breakfast and patiently waited for the weather forecast. After an hour or so we were given the all clear! It was amazingly beautiful and the best thing to do here is let the pictures do the talking.
I’m also just going to put up the rest of the pics from Cappadocia as it was an absolutely amazing place and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

…More to follow!

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