göreme | day four
september 26, 2011
(jump to gallery)
This was our last full day in Göreme and it started super early with a 5:15am pick-up for a hot air balloon ride. They brought us to the office to have coffee and bread/cookies, and then it was back into the van to head to the launch site. The ride was beautiful but we didn’t have much movement because there was no wind. We mostly went up and down. But it was pretty awesome being able to check out all the many paths we had hiked from above. Amazing to see all the distance we traversed. After the balloon ride we had champagne at the landing site and the company very smartly sold us photos of ourselves that they took right before we took flight.
Post champagne we headed back to the pension and relaxed a bit before heading down to have a real breakfast. As always, yummy. After that we set out for the day’s activities. Today was all about hiking to the fairy chimneys. We hopped on a local bus to the next village, Cavusin, which we had hiked to a couple days prior. From there we wandered about for a bit until we finally found the path through the mountains to the fairy chimneys. I have to say we had some amazing hikes here and one of the best parts was that we were, for the most part, totally alone. This one was completely empty until the very end. Everybody visits the fairy chimneys but most people don’t hike there, they take a tour. So these folks arrive by road from below and we get to arrive from above, via mountain hike, and be totally separated from the crowds. After getting there we had to figure out how to get back to Cavusin. Instead of retracing our steps through the hills we decide to try to cut a path through the valleys in the middle. We were basically lost but just tried to generally head down and to the right, and eventually we found our way back to Cavusin. Success! We went back to the same place for the same lunch plus an extra beer. Then we headed down to the bus stop to wait for the bus back to goreme.
While waiting we ended up getting picked up for a ride back again. (sorry again mom) This time it was two guys and they seemed fine, until we found out one of them had just gotten out of jail (not for anything bad, they assured us…hmmm) so we were a bit nervous. Luckily it was only a short distance and we were safely in Göreme quickly.
After that, time for a nap and shower and then off to meet some hometown friends for dinner!
Katie and I were friends from high school and before; we live in the same city but haven’t seen each other in over four years. Amazing that we finally see each other again in Cappadocia, Turkey! Gotta love the power of Facebook. İf i hadn’t posted right before my trip about learning Turkish, we never would have known we were traveling to the same place at the same time!
Anyway we met up with Katie and her traveling companion and headed out. We ended up eating at a place called Kale Restaurant. We each tried their set meals, some of us getting testi kebap and others getting kofte ki-something. In addition they gave us soups and meze plates. We also got a bottle of cappadocian wine, which was actually pretty good! The food tasted great. And it was great to see Katie again. After that, home and to bed. Or at least, I tried…