Saturday, 22 August 2009

Once again, the misleading local pricing (the numbers can refer to either lira, euros, us or australian dollars ... generally whateverls worst for the tourist) meant an overpriced hamam was our last experience of istanbul but was well cleansed for the back breaking, neck creaking, leg twisting overnight bus journey to cappadocia.  Just in case we had any regrets for not shelling out for plane tickets the kindly tour operators indulged the fantasy by ordering mobile phones off because they interfered with the breaking system, provided realistic turbulence and even inflight entertainment that ranged between ultra violent local soccer and a 4hr epic local musical variety show.  Managed to survive and get to the hotel for 15 minutes before being picked up again for some cappadocian tourism.  A bit of walking around the ruins which despite being up to 3000 years old were either still in use or had only been vacated in the last 30 years and unlike any western tour with all those pesky rules to limit liability we were allowed to risk our necks by climbing right up into the tunnels and caves ... its like no other place I've ever seen, an entire city literally carved out of the volcanic rock. 
Returning to the virtually deserted hotel we decided to eat in ... no menu, just a very nice home cooked (but evidently authentic turkish) meal prepared by the one staff member there.  Felt a bit bad as he'd been fasting all day for the first day of ramadhan while he was cooking our meal but as soon as the sun dropped the city wide speakers blared out the prayers signifying that he, the city (and all of the other observant muslims in this timezone for that matter) could break out the pides and beer (so maybe they weren't that observant after all).

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