05 September 2007

AlSo: Going Underground

Had breakfast on the terrace with Justin, who it turns out used to work at World Resources Institute in Washington, DC (small world) before leaving in favor of traveling and studying in India. We took a bust to Nevsehir and then another bus to Derinkuyu which boasts one of the most extensive open underground cities. It is seven layers deep and positively labyrinthian. They were used by residents in times of threats of invasion and had all amenities needed for mid-term living (the major issue being sewage which I couldn’t see any system for the long-term disposal of). The network we saw was actually only a small part of an even greater underground network. And what did the Lonely Planet call it? You guessed it – “troglodytic”. Is this even a word? After Corey and Justin had run through and explored every nook and cranny of the underground city (“yeralti sehri” in Turkish in case you were wondering), we found a leaf-canopied courtyard with older men drinking tea and playing backgammon. We drank tea and then migrated to a pide place that had GREAT pide. We wound our way back to Goreme the way we had come and engaged in some “underground” experiences of our own, specifically drinking red wine from the Conference farewell party 5 days before. I cleaned my shoes like the dickens for which everyone, particularly Ali, was grateful. Sunset was spent on the bluff with gorgeous panoramic views of the city and paragliders. Dinner was with the whole gang, all of whom save Justin, Corey and myself were heading to Antalya that evening. Audra et al had staked out a restaurant for their final Goreme meal which turned out to have everything BUT what they wanted. Delicious, though. Joke told by a passing Turkish guy: “What smokes more than a Turk? Two Turks.” True that. Everyone trundled en masse to the train station where they departed and we got tickets to Antakya the next day. As we were waiting with the others for their bus to come, all of the lights went off in the city and candles quickly taken out. Justin and my hopes for ice cream were dashed once again. We trekked back to the hostel in the dark and were contemplating going up to the bluff but reconsidered when we saw so many tourists heading that way with whoops and liquor. It was so very beautiful and peaceful on the terrace, though!

No comments: