Ahhhhh - I took some amazing pictures here - over a hundred, and then deleted them off my card by mistake....so it is easy to say they were amazing.
It would be impossible to take bad pictures here in fairy land as the landscapes are stunning - the light incredible and the formations hard to describe, other than not of this world. And so this is not the place I would have chosen to lose all of these pics but..... I seem to have only 20 or so of mine and the rest are Jan's.
And because I am becoming incredibly lazy with this blog, mostly because of the wear and tear of friggin Turk's - I am going to steal the one Jan just posted on Facebook.......if I write my own it just might be too nasty....and Jan has softened a lot in her writing ,,,,,, except for Israel - she just couldn't soften her experiences there - just before meeting up with me. Even as harsh as she found the Israeli's - the Turks are more miserable. Jan's blog - with some incredible advenures from Africa is at janicebeaton.blogspot.com
Here's Jan from Flinstoneville.....
Meet The Flintstones!
Our trip from Olympos to Cappadocia was LONG. Leaving Olympos all buses stop in Antalya where you then have to wait out the day for the swarm of night buses that all leave within an hour of each other to get to Cappadocia. This leaves most people with a full day to spend in what appeared to be a really interesting, very modern city and thus most people take full advantage by seeing the sights and cramming in as much culture as they can before the 10pm bus departure. Us? Well, we found a nearby modern mall, did some shopping, and hit the movies. Yep, we’ve been on the road far too long. I justified the shopping by knowing that I needed to start a job soon so t-shirts and flipflops weren’t going to cut it and we really wanted to see a movie in a proper theatre. Seriously folks, when TV is barely accessible, a MOVIE THEATRE is absolute indulgence! So while others sweated their way through the nearby Turkish sights, which I’m sure were very interesting, we were as cool and comfortable as a couple of 14 year old mall rats. Loved it!
Overnight sleepless ride to see the sun rise in … where did the Flintstones live?... Bedrock! Yeah, Bedrock! This place is straight out of The Flintstones! Massive vertical pinnacles cut out along canyons and mountains, caves in and above ground all along these rocks… it’s Bedrock meets the hoodoo Badlands of Alberta meets original Star Wars. Impossible to describe and the pictures don’t do it justice. Really unique, interesting landscape. So wild!
We dragged our butts and bags to our hotel, woke the staff to get our room, and promptly fell asleep for a couple of hours. It’s easy enough to explore the entire tourist oriented town in a few hours but there were lists of tours that you could book as well to see the sights just out of walking distance. Cost? Out of this world expensive. I guess if you had planned to only come to Turkey, maybe the prices would seem reasonable, but for people on the road for a while, this country was truly costing us a fortune.
- **side note* Deb and I aren’t posh pants travelers but being that there are two of us, we could afford to get nicer places to sleep than if we were on our own. Both of us have slept in our share of dorm rooms and flea pits so again, as long as we had a place to crash, not too fussy. Turkey is not meant for backpackers on the cheap. I guess it depends on where you’re coming from and what kind of traveling you’re looking to do but the options of $10 nights were unheard of, not even $10 EACH, which would get you a whole HOUSE in some of the countries we had just come from. So when tours were costing around $50 a day, to some, it was worth it, to us, it was out of the question. Note to future travelers… save up to come to Turkey! ***
I did some exploring and hiking through some of the hoodoo canyons (Deb only had flipflops so couldn’t come) and saw as much as could by foot while Deb worked her social magic and chatted up a couple of fellow hostellers and convinced them to rent a car with us. SCORE! We met one other guy who wanted in so the next day 5 of us piled into a rental and hit the road to see why the buses where charging $50US per person.
- **another side note* by this point, Deb and I have decided that we don’t like Turkey so much. We apparently aren’t completely alone in this opinion but have heard complete opposite experiences from other travelers so maybe we were running a stretch of bad luck for the month. We would sit for ages just trying to catch someone smiling or enjoying each other’s company or being nice or SOMETHING, but nope. Miserable. Miserable to each other, especially miserable to tourists, just miserable. We’d try to talk and joke with people… shut down. We were repeatedly ignored or told to “get out” when we would ask questions about travel routes or options simply because people couldn’t be bothered to do anything. LOTS of outright lying from many different people on things like bus routes, prices, general questions, and so on with a shrug of the shoulders and roll of the eyeballs when you called them on it. And the people in general, walking by on the street, in the shops, or just anywhere were unhappy, unhappy people. Coming from countries where the people have so little and give so much, Deb and I spent a good deal of time shaking our heads and sighing. Turkey has so much to offer but hospitality and nice people doesn’t seem to be one of them.***
The road trip was good fun, mostly because I got to drive a manual again (Yipee!) and we got to see all of the things that the tour buses saw at a fraction of the cost. Sweet. Huge underground cave “cities” that went 8 stories down and were really, really interesting until you realized that you were 8 stories underground with a couple hundred other tourists with only one very narrow single file stairway that led out. Gulp! Kept having to swallow down those choking lumps of claustrophobia that would sneak up if you thought about it too much. Not really able to get any good photos but a really neat experience. Saw some nice little villages that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise and generally wandered around for the day. A very good day.
My favourite thing in this place was the view of the early morning hot air balloon launchings. At least 50 hot air balloons would all lift off over Flintstone’s Bedrock just after sunrise and the skies were filled with their colourful globes bobbing and floating over the landscape, the wooshing sound of the burst of flames echoing through the canyons. Again, too pricey for our budget but to see them overhead was just incredibly beautiful. I’m sure it would have been an amazing way to the see the landscape but I’m pretty happy with all that we saw on the ground. Of course the photos don’t do it justice, but trust me, it was stunning.
Typical experience trying to get out of town, bus company agents who were too busy on facebook or picking at their faces in hand held mirrors to arrange a ticket for us and would wave us away telling us to come back later or just simply refuse to acknowledge us. Found one very nice guy who eventually got us sorted out after an hour of trying 5 different places all side by side. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. What is wrong here? Seriously?! We would even try to be goofy or silly, anything to get a smile, a laugh, some kind of rapport… nothing. You guys have read my stories… Deb and I both usually end up getting invited to stay with families or make new life-long local friends or have glorious tales to tell of how we have been taken in under someone’s wing who wanted to show us how wonderful their country is. Not here. No way. It was comical how miserable people seemed to be. Okay, okay, carry on. Let’s just keep moving.
Cappadocia was worth the visit and luckily for me, Deb is funny enough on her own so between the two of us, we kept ourselves fairly entertained. Mostly at others' expense mind you, but they never knew it so all good. We’re gonna have fun no matter what we run up against! Our time in Turkey is running out…