Sunday, 3 October 2010

Days 32-39: How to miss the whirling dervishes

Goreme, Turkey

This'll be a brief one and none of my pics, although I found some on the internet of where I went and I'll add some in at a later date when I have my camera with me and more time (it takes ages to upload big pics to blogger). Also my camera batteries ran out half way up Mt Nemrut and the replacements I bought in Moldova were duds. Gotta respect the recycling but I don't think they've got the idea. Also don't have much time to write, so some of you might recognise some chunks of text as I copied and pasted from emails I've sent over the last few days.

Spent a few days in Istanbul but having seen the sights recently there wasn't much I needed to do (except pick up an Orhan Pamuk book to take my Turkish literature count for the trip to two) so got out of there in a couple of days and headed for Cappadocia. Currently in Goreme, which is spectacularly beautiful. Most of the hotels are in caves, although mine's not, although the fact that it's called the Cave Valley might have lured me into the assumption. It's v nice though and even has a pool. All for 15 lira a night (about 6 quid). Spent a day here looking round the old rock-cut city, check it out on the internet, it's lush.

Also visited Derinkuyu underground city. Also had my first nargileh of the trip although for some reason we opted for Cappuccino flavour. Not my choice. Then off for 3 days to Nemrut Dagi. A mountain with statues at the top built by the extremely egotistical King Antiochus. After he died they then stuck an extra 75m of rocks on the top, just to make a tomb for him. It's only 50m now as an American "archaeologist" tried to find his tomb in the 50s using mostly dynamite. The picture below is what it's supposed to look like at sunrise. It didn't look like that when I was there.

It was a long day as we set off at 3.30am to get up to Nemrut for sunrise. Unfortunately it was pissing down so we ended up huddled in a cafe thing near the summit drinking tea while it lashed it down, which was actually quite atmospheric. It eased up after about an hour and if anything the views were even more spectacular because of the whispy clouds around the mountains. Then a bunch of us ended up in a fairly seedy bar in Sanliurfa until about 1am that night. It's a v religious town so all (or should I say "both") the bars are seedy. Good times though.

Got back to Goreme from Nemrut Dagi yesterday and hiked around for about 6 hours. Including Love Valley. Try to guess from the picture below why it's called that...

I then ended up walking along Rose Valley and took a wrong turn ending up in a different town when I thought I was getting back to Goreme. I found my way back eventually though. I really should start using maps. I also acquired a dog for a large part of the day who started following me in town and stuck with me for the first 2 hours or so. I named him Guido as I liked to think of him as my guide.

I've realised that I've planned this part of my trip quite badly as I should have done what I wanted to do in Cappadocia, then gone to Nemrut (which is much further east) and carried on from there. Oh well. I have a bit of time so the backtracking's not too bad and I've met some cool people doing it this way round. I was also really hoping to see the whirling dervishes in Konya which is west of here but it turns out that's probably on every Saturday (i.e. 6 days from now and I can't really wait around). So having left Istanbul a day early and foregone seeing them there, I'll now also miss the real deal (or as close to the real deal as there is) in Konya. Boo. Anyway, I'm still off to Konya tomorrow anyway. From there on to Erzerum and the north east (Mt Ararat etc) before making my way to Van, from whence I get the train to Iran on the 15th Oct (I think).

1 comment:

  1. You seem to be getting to some weird and wonderful places! Following you on the map but difficult as all place names in Turkey seem to have changed since it was published. Hope entry to Iran goes smoothly