Scootering around Cappadocia

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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia
June 28th 2012
Published: June 30th 2012
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We had a slow start for the day and it was already afternoon when we left the hostel to have a coffee. There is exactly one place (that we know of) in Göreme where u can get "normal" coffee: not nescafe or turkish coffee. At the café we decided to rent a scooter and drive to see an underground city. So, we went to scooter rental shop and Leo had a test drive with the employees to see that he actually can drive the thing.

The underground city is located in Kaymakli, around 20km from Göreme. The drive there was quite peaceful, not too much traffic on the roads and pretty countryside landscapes. Driving the scooter (and sitting at the back) was very much fun, you could just enjoy views and the wind, and almost empty roads made the drive also rather stress free. Near Kaymakli we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant where the owner/waiter seemed overly excited to have foreigners as customers. We didn't really share a language but he was showing us football news on the newspaper, and also tried to show some news regarding the incidents at the Syrian border. Funny thing is that in Turkey in the newspaper football section you can bet about the football game results in Finland. We noticed this already before when a guy selling sun glasses started talking to us about football teams in Turku, Jyväskylä or something like that. Anyway, this friendly man in the restaurant didn't seem quite so friendly anymore when we saw the bill, it was 40 liras, so 20euros. Ok, 10 euros each might not be so bad and we hadn't asked for the price beforehand, but i estimated the right price would have been closer to 5 euros per person. In any case, people in Cappadocia seem incredibly friendly and helpful. During our scooter drive several cars were stopping just spontaneously during our photographing or butt stretching breaks to ask where we were going and to give instructions. Same happened the day before during our hike; one couple saw us walking on a road and they yelled from the distance to ask where we are going, I suppose they guessed we were going to Göreme and saw we were going the wrong way. They then showed us to the correct way.

The underground city in Kaymakli was interesting to see, but I wouldn't want to go back. It's a thousands of years old city with lots of tiny hallways and small rooms and often we had to almost crawl through quite long halls. There were marked and lighted route and of course other people too, but somehow being there underground wasn't pleasant at all. We felt somehow uncomfortable and stressful and basically just wanted to make the tour quite fast and get out. It wasn't long though, I guess we were down there for about 15-20 minutes. The French couple from our hostel told us it was about 5000 years ago that thousands of people were living in that city... hard to imagine it, especially considering they didn't have real lighting and it must have been basically dark. Even though, the city had everything that is needed: there was rooms for kitchen, churches, even a winery. Only small part of the city was available for visit, the city actually streched several floors underground. Anyhow, after this trip I was really sure I would never want to work in a mine :-)

On the way back to Göreme we again saw some really nice landscapes with green fields surrounded by rocky hills, some chickens and cows here and there, and mostly empty roads. We stopped in the village Ürgüp for coffee but it was actually quite windy and not that warm, so it was quite short break.

Before returning the scooter we still drove up to a panorama viewing point to see the sunset to the fairy chimney valley. It was nice, but not so pleasant as by this time it was already quite cold and windy. So, we returned the scooter, had a quick dinner and returned to the hostel to pack and sleep. Driving on the scooter and sitting at the back was surprisingly hard, because you have to tense your muscles all the time. We were exhausted by the time we got to bed. Even though, the ride and the day were superb. And oh yes, I also tried driving the scooter for a bit - wasn't all that hard 😊

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