sleep is surely over-rated
19.05.2009 - 19.05.2009 34 °C
So a morning that begins at 4am is never going to be pleasant. But it helps to be awake to hear the call to prayer accompanied by howling dogs. It was such beautiful morning. I love being somewhere when it is quiet because everyone is asleep. I feel like the only person on this strange planet of Cappadocia. I sat outside looking over the few lights that lit up the surreal landscape.
It wasn't long before I was picked up with Sally and David to be taken into the centre of town where there definitely wasn't sleeping people. Instead there was a multitude of half awake people from all over the world here to experience the treasure of a balloon ride at sunrise over Cappadocia.
We were driven about 20 minutes out of town to a wild flower filled field where they gave us a safety talk in both English and French and then as our breath clouded before us we got to watch these limp bags be filled with air to be transformed into magnificent balloons. There were 12 to a basket all with window seats.
The balloon ride was beautiful. We lifted above the other 80 balloons out that morning then drifted below through the landscape that so fascinated me. We travelled for about 2 hours and to be honest as wonderful as it was...I think I could have done the hour long one for 120TYL cheaper. But what an experience. Once we landed - narrowly missing a Turkish prison! - we were treated to champagne and cherry juice and a slice of chocolate cake. None of this appealed to me so instead I enjoyed the warmth of the sun.
Back in town I decided to walk back to the hotel knowing that when the sun had reached its zenith I wouldn't find the walk as pleasant. I passed some dyed wool drying in the morning sun. Did I mention I'm taking photos? Well, I might have a bit of a task on my hands when I get back to cull them all! But I promise my friends I won't make you sit through all of them.
Back at the hotel I had just enough time to find an espresso coffee and a banana for breakfast before we were off again. On foot we walked to the Rose Valley. Ali was our leader this time and we hiked through the landscape I had floated over just an hour before. The hike was one of my favourite things on this trip. Though there are so many favourites. Learning about the history of the landscape, discovering hidden churches, learning about the uses of pigeon droppings! It's all fascinating. I just loved being active too. It did get mighty hot as the sun climbed higher and higher and soon enough on our way out of the valley my enthusiasm was starting to waiver. That and my lack of sleep combined made a powerful drug for me.
We got back to Goreme centre in time for lunch which I ordered but then was too tired to eat. I don't think I've ever been so close to falling asleep in my food. Especially when we were sitting on cushions. So I stumbled back to my cave and passed out for an hour...hardly enough but all I was going to get.
Poor Jeanne had her first Hamam experience (Turkish Bath) when they were doing them co-gender! Now that is a Turkish experience for you when you are a shy woman with three men!
For dinner we headed out to a restaurant where we sat on little seats that were more like little rocking horses without the rocking. Surprisingly comfortable actually - until you tried to get up! I was still pretty tired so I just had soup whilst everyone else tried the testi kebab. A casserole type thing cooked in a ceramic pot that was cracked open in order to get the delicious food out.
I may have been tired but I wasn't going to miss out on dessert. We walked to the place we had lunch and I shared a gozleme (kind of like roti bread) filled with chocolate and banana. Now that is an experience everyone should have!!!!!!
Back at the hotel we enjoyed a small glass of sweet tangerine wine before I headed off to bed to sleep like a log. Long long day.