The profusion of bright pink Hollyhocks and a Cherry tree overflowing with perfectly ripe cherries under the bright blue sky, caught my eye as we walked up the stone stairs to our cave home for the next few days at the Local Cave House. (www.localcavehouse.com) In a semi-delirious state from our all night, very long bus ride from Olympos, the environs of Goreme, felt a little like wandering into a wonderland or dream. One look at our cave lodging carved out of stone and we knew we were in for a unique experience.
Mozart wanted to do the tree house, spend some nights in a cave hotel and experience a Turkish bus with snacks and movies as part of her Turkey “must do” list and she was about to complete all three.
She did get a few snacks on the bus as they have attendants similar to airline hostesses, who seem to always be giving out water or a snack or bringing some lotion to wash ones hands with. Unfortunately, Mozart was already sound asleep when the movie came on which she so wanted to see.
Trust me, it is very peculiar to watch “Little Man” (an odd comedy about a midget black man coming out of prison) dubbed in Turkish late at night with a bus full of mostly scarfed Turkish people. I don’t think it was quite the experience she was looking for and I am glad that she slept through it. They also suddenly stopped the movie about fifteen minutes into it and never started it again, which was just fine with me as it was quite intrusive.
She got a pretty good nights sleep, but I can not say the same for her parents. The bus pulls over about every two hours at quite elaborate bus stops where there are food places, bathrooms (payment needed) and the endless souvenirs. Of course, they turn on all the lights and everyone seems to get off for each twenty minute stop. I did sleep, with my handy blow up neck support and a small child nestled next to my body, but it was a very interrupted night’s sleep.
Goreme is enchanting and it was exciting to be in Cappadocia and see this strange landscape that I had been reading about, so just taking it all in, woke us up quickly. I picked The Local Cave House because it had the pool and people from Bootsnall forum said that it was nice. Besides our Australian friends, there was a nice family from northern Spain, one from South Africa and an interesting lady from Scotland who has lived in Turkey near Bodrum for the last few years, so lots of interesting people to talk to at breakfast, the pool or in their Ottoman style shaded area.
There was also a very interesting retired policeman from London who moved here last year that hung around the hotel a lot and was full of information and also would climb up the cherry tree to pick a bowl of cherries for Mozart from time to time. The manager, owner and people who worked there were very friendly and extra helpful which seems to be the Turkish way. Mozart enjoyed the managers eleven year old sister and even helped her clean the rooms a little.
We mostly rested the first day in our nice and cool cave room and swam a bit. They suggested that we see the Goreme Open Air Museum late in the day when few tourists are there and it is cooler and that turned out to be the perfect time to go. They even gave us a ride over there (even though it is close), because of my bad knee. It is spectacular and one of my favorite parts was the dark church which has some of the best preserved Byzantine frescoes in the world (which I will show later in the blog under Frescoes).
The owner of the Local Cave Hotel also owns a restaurant just below the hotel and not far from the museum so we decided to have dinner there. It turned out to be our favorite restaurant in Turkey and one of our most favorite on the whole trip as the food was delicious! Mozart literally begged to go there every day. We had great Turkey specialties there and we enjoyed another restaurant in town too, mainly for its atmosphere.
I have forgotten the name, but it is quite famous in Goreme. One can not miss it because of the setting with their big red beanbag leather chairs on green grass, under floating canvas “sails” for shade, as the rocky landscape above and chickens wandering below, entertain. Occasionally a village lady on a donkey might ride by or a man with a horse drawn wagon
DaVinci was not sure that he wanted to come to Cappadocia because it adds a lot of time to a trip to Turkey because of its more isolated location, but he was so glad when he got here. It turned out to be one of our favorite places in Turkey and one of our favorite places on the entire trip. We loved it so much that we added more time here and ended up staying a week as it was hard to leave. It is one of those special places on the planet that should not be missed!