…in Cappadocia , which of course is what the area is famous for!
Hideously early wake up call,3.30 am then the usual drag to the airport, usual hassle of x rays. Etc and finally arrived in Nievegar which is not the capital of the area but where the airport is. Then began one of those trials which always puts me off group travel, the shuttle to every damn hotel in the province, mine was last and I was knackered and it was only 9.30 am.
Hotel Dera Suites is very swish!!! Built into a hillside, the rock here is very soft so it has been used extensively for hacking out dwellings similar to Matera in Southern Italy but on a grander scale. Nowadays the rock is being madly plundered both as a concrete base and actual building blocks. So tonight I am sleeping in a cave just like in Matera years ago.
Collected at about 10 am by the actual guide, what a united nations, mum and two daughters and son in law from Saudi Arabia, three youngish women from Lahore,Mum and son from Sngapore, couple from Vancouver, we are the only whiteys.
First activity was a longish walk on dusty limestone paths, but the scenery was stunning, showing off the tectonic plate activity of sillions of years ago and all these strange pinnacle like rocks big enough to build dwellings in. Lunch next, standard buffet which makes nobody very happy but fills a gap. After lunch to Pigeon valley, only about 2000 left used to be 30, 000. Wonder who counted them…
Used for their guano. Although the soil looks v manky it is very productive. Citrus, pomenganates,apricots, grapes, oats, rye where some of the products named and seen . Plus sadly too early for cherries. Next jaunt was to an underground village, went down and down into the rock, up to 200 people lived in these subterranean villages during the Hittite period which was , well a long time ago. I did not last long underground, drinking apple tea in a nice cafe was far preferable.
There are endless busloads of tourists doing the same things, tourism earns more than the produce!!
Next stop a carpet shop, some local stuff and a very informative session on the types and styles of carpets. Just had to buy a few which will wing their way home just before me.T was standing in a corner having a right hissy fit.
Tottered back to the hotel about 6 pm, a very good but very very expensive day the sooner I get walking and away from temptation the better. Quite hot today , about 28 but goes down to about 9 at night. Wonder what tomorrow’s programme will bring…