Sunday, 6 June 2010

Monday - Ankara - Goreme and Goreme


I had the alarm set for 6:45am on Monday morning as our train was due to arrive in Ankara at 7:07am. We were up and ready just in time without any rushing. Turns out that we could have had an extra hour in bed as our train didn't get in until just gone 8am! From the train station we had to get to the ASTI bus station where we were going to get a bus to Goreme in Cappdocia. According to my LP there was a metro station less than a 10 min walk away so on left the station following the signs for the Metro. On exiting the station however that was it... no sign to the Metro and in fact we didn't even know what street we were on. We were studying our LP determining where to go to next when a German couple came up to us and asked if we knew where to go to next to get to the bus station. We said No but we were working on it and they said fine, they'd wait until we figured it out :) We then decided that as there were 4 of us we'd just get a taxi to the bus station and that was a great idea as the total journey took about 10 mins and only cost 10TL! Talk about saving us alot of trouble and time, and even better we were in time to get the 9am bus to Goreme :) For those folk who might be visiting Ankara soon and looking for that mysterious metro station... take a left on exiting the station and it's about 2 mins down the road as we discovered on return the next night!

We had a bit of time before the bus so Dave grabbed a coffee. I reckoned that it looked a little nasty (yes I am fussy) so thought I'd hold off for later. Bad idea. Our bus departed at 9am and left on the dot. After leaving there was an attendant bringing around water and the coffee which I said yup to. Unfortunately it was 3 in 1 one... coffee and milk too. Yuk! By the time that we got to Goreme after 2pm I had a pounding headache! I may only drink one coffee a day but it would appear that my body does not react well if it does not get that one coffee!

After checking in to our guest house (the lovely Arch Palace where our room was only 40 euros for the night!) where we were shown to a spotless bedroom after Mustafa laid our a rather busy 23 hrs itinerary for us. Once we were in our room we decided that we'd do a subset of his itinerary as we were on holidays after all! We had a quick change... we had been on a bus for over 5 hrs remember, and then out for some lunch. For the first, and last time in Turkey I saw falafel on a menu so so I had a falafel plate for my lunch! I could have done with a coffee but it was gone 3pm so much too late in the day for me for that.

Cart & Vines

After lunch we wandered up Museum Rd... we had considered going in to the Open Air Museum but it closes at 5pm so we felt that that would make for a fairly rushed visit around and that it would be best left until the Tues morning. Instead we visited the El Nazar Killise (one of the little old byzantine churches) and then just sat and enjoyed the view for a while.

El Nazar Killise Interior

El Nazar Killise

Based on the recommendation of the helpful Mustafa we had dinner in Dibek that evening. We'd made our reservation earlier as we were going to have Testi Kebap for dinner and, when cooked properly and not just for tourists, it needs to be baked for at least 3 hrs in advance of eating. I'm not sure that I found the vegetarian version as tasty as I expected but the overall dinner experience was fantastic... floor cushions around a low circular table and a generally relaxing experience :)

Waiting for Dinner II

Waiting for Dinner I

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