Visiting Turkey’s chilly interior

Turkish mezze

Typing with gloves on, it seems appropriate to note that Cappadocia is much colder than Istanbul. As we walked through a valley of odd sedimentary rock formations beside the town of Goreme, there was still a thick layer of frost on the shaded patches of browned grass. The general feel of the place is that of a desert at night: as became apparent as I first glanced out the bus window as the dawn was breaking.

Goreme is definitely a tourist town in an off season. After eight hours here, we know most of the tourists by name. Of the nine hotels we looked into, two were unlocked but entirely unmanned. In the end, we chose to stay at the Panorama Pension, which has some excellent rooms and a very friendly family as owners and operators. The yoghurt and fruit syrup (I will need to look up the name when I have my food book with me) that they served along with breakfast was superb. I am looking forward to the traditional Turkish dinner, modified to be more vegetarian, that we have been promised for one of our three nights. A word of warning to devout vegetarians or vegans travelling in Turkey: almost all cooked meals, from kebobs to rice pilav, apparently involve meat or seafood broth. Apparently, most restaurants do not consider such broths to negate the ‘vegetarian’ status of a dish. I am pragmatic enough to accept consumption of such as the price for not surviving on pretzels for the next seven days.

Tomorrow, we are going on a tour that takes in 200km worth of sights that we would never have been able to reach by our own devices. That said, the 25 Lira (C$20) cost of renting a moped for a day is somewhat tempting. I’ve never ridden such a vehicle, and this might be an unusually good place to try it out – with the minor caveat that hospital facilities are probably far distant. The five seconds or so I once spent riding Astrid’s moped on campus at UBC have made me curious about further exposure.

After fourteen hours on the bus with negligible sleep, I have no doubt that I will sleep well tonight. Likewise, given a shower with a ‘hot’ tap that delivers liquid no warmer than the air, I am sure I will wake up well also.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Visiting Turkey’s chilly interior”

  1. Mopeds are fun. I rode one down the block once, and back. Althouhg, I find hte idea of true motorcycles much more alluring. The clouds above north vancouver are quite distinctive now – very black clouds about as high agaihn above the lions seems to suggest a higher second range.

  2. Be careful if you do rent a moped. With no experience and icy conditions, your hospital concern is justified.

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