where did i leave off, on our oddessey? oh yes, departing Istanbul for Ankara, then to Cappadocia..
Check out the wonders of this province: Underground Cities, Fairy Towers, Castles, Museums, and Trogodivic Towns, to start...
But before that, on the way:
last Hilton buffet breakfast in Istanbul
tea together @ the airport
the airport in Ankara was supernice and new; we weren't expecting that...
What does Ankara look like, you ask?
Our first tour-stop in Ankara was the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which was pretty amazing. The exhibits started with Neolithic artifacts, then continued right on to Early Bronze, Assyrian, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and beyond. I had a hard time getting my mind around it, frankly. It's one thing to read "Gilgamesh" or the Old Testament, and another to be looking at cuneiform shards detailing ancient divorce settlements, or the correspondence of Queen Nefertari or Hittite bull-worshipping decor there in front of you.
thought to be the skull of King Midas
(I'll scorn the usual Shelleyan "Ozymandias" quote and instead leave you with a link to a neat Sphinxy gem of a poem by Emerson: http://poetry.eserver.org/Emerson%28Sphinx%29.html
Turkish Stop Sign, lol
we went to lunch with our tour guide, Alek, who invited some of his family members in Ankara along, and we all ate, family-style. (I'll have to insert the pic of the special bread that they made us, once kingfox deprivatizes and sorts his Flickr photos; it spelled out our names in poppy seeds)
I'm really glad we took the time (en route to Cappadocia) to stop by Ataturk's Mausoleum in Ankara. The scale of it was amazing
it's on a hill overlooking the (now capital) city
Who was he? Pretty amazing: Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atat%C3%BCrk
AFter that, kingfox and I bussed to the province of Cappadocia. It was about a five hour ride, across very arid and hot land. We got to see a salt lake, and a lot of farmland and desertlike terrain along the way.\
(the thought of crossing it, apostle-style on a donkey, was pretty daunting)
we arrived at Yunak Everli, to our cave hotel, around dinner-time. I did a lot of "ooooooo!"ing at the neat environs.
Views over Dinner on the Patio; simply outstanding and unbelievable. i felt like i was on Tattooine; it just felt unreal.