I had to settle on Burger King for lunch (somehow, still my travel food of choice - gross, I know). I landed in Istanbul with an hour before my flight to Kayseri, but after deplaning on a bus, running through a terminal, hitting a bathroom, going through security again, almost leaving my precious carpet on a bench, and realizing that my next flight boarded 50 minutes in advance because we had to bus to the plane - eek! I almost didn't make it. I jumped on that bus right in front of MCB, who'd just come in from Serbia. Usually I'm the one thinking he's not going to make the flight.
We landed in Kayseri, where the temperature was 0 degrees Celsius. I could've worn a tank top in Ephesus - double eeek! Our hotel was offering a free shuttle arrangement from the airport, so once again I got to feel important as I got off the plane and saw a dude with my name on a sign. This time they got the gender correct - I was Mr. Lauren in Istanbul. All is forgiven, since I can't figure out the gender of Turkish names either.
An hour later we were in Urgup. Let's try that with umlauts. Ürgüp.
I'd picked a cave hotel, because that's what you do when you're in Cappadocia - stay in a cave. We stayed here in the Roman Cave. Collen runs the place, and she welcomed us into the cold night with tea and a cozy, spacious cave to sleep in. With heated bathroom floors and towel racks, dual showers, and an upstairs room. Yeah, not too cave-like. It was lovely.
Apparently I only took room photos with my phone, not my real camera. Ah, well.
I had done zero planning for the Cappadocia portion of the trip, so when Colleen asked what our plans were, we gave her blank stares. Thankfully she had lots of maps, car rental suggestions, and offered to make calls in the morning to find us a tour if we wanted. The only thing I had arranged in advance was a hot air balloon ride, because that is also the thing you do in Cappadocia. We'd be picked up at 5:20am, so it was off to bed right away.
Waking up at an hour that starts with a number lower than an 8 really isn't my thing, especially not with freezing temperatures, but this was an adventure! Wool socks and capilene, check.
this company and had an enjoyable day.
First stop, Mustafapasa, which is pretty fun to say. It's a little Greek town with some traditional stone houses.
See the black area over the hole in the middle of the photo? That was some lady's kitchen, up until pretty recently. That house/cave is livable!
Our very last stop was at a jewelry/pottery/craft vendor place, of course, but no one bought anything except for maybe the really cute young Turkish couple on the tour who was on their honeymoon. They took adorable, ridiculous pics all day while the guide was explaining things to the English speakers.
Finally at 5pm we were on the way home. We drove through Goreme to drop people off at their hotels, and I think next time I'd stay in there over Urgup. They're close, but it's cooler scenery.
After a nap, MCB and I ventured out for dinner. It was pretty late at this point, in a very small town in low season, and not too many options. We settled on one place that was open, with a weird fish tank built into the corner. And terrible lighting. And no menu. MCB was intent on trying Iskender kebap while in Turkey, so that's what he ordered. There are entire restaurants devoted to Iskender throughout the country.