Saturday, May 24, 2008

Istanbul to Cappadocia

After another day pounding the pavements of Istanbul we were taken from the Sultanahmet area where our pension was located to the main bus station (otogar) north of the city to meet up with the bus to Cappodocia. The otogar is huge and we were let off at our bus stand No. 24 – I didn’t check to see how many stands there were but there were at least another 20-30 I am sure!

Here and at several other stops along the way Turkish people engaged in dancing to a ‘flute’ and drum. It seemed like a farewell to friends who were boarding the buses.

Our journey was to be an overnight one – quite common in Turkey – and we seemed to travel south and east for 2-3 hours before leaving the built up area of Istanbul - home to some 14 million people!

Passengers on the bus are looked after by an attendant who came around during the night offering water, tea and coffee. Sleep was no more difficult to achieve than one would experience on an aeroplane; I managed to get in about 6 hours but Lynne was less fortunate!

The first stop I recall was at about 12:15 am at a location I can’t name! The second was at 5:10 am at a place I could only identify by the signage as ‘Kapadokya Motel.’ There was more light from here to Urgup and we were able to see a very rural and bare landscape. Some ploughing had been done and we later learned that was probably for wheat or barley.

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