06 September 2007

AlSo: Ilhara Is Pronounced “Urgup”

Justin, Corey and I got up earlier than prudence would dictate in the hopes of hiking in Ilhara Valley, which is supposed to be just beautiful. Our hopes were dashed in Nevsehir, however, when we learned that the buses and ticket prices were daunting enough for us to change tacks. Instead we decided to go to Urgup. On the bus, off the bus, nice breakfast and tea, then a stroll through the old city. There was supposed to be an underground city in Urgup, as well, but the artist whom we asked about it later hadn’t heard of it. What we did find in scrambling around the area was a bunch of untended, uninhabited and fascinating pidgeon houses which we were more than content to explore for some goodly time. It was perhaps the highlight of Cappadoccia! Thus emboldened, we walked on and found a winery where we had a tour and wine-tasting. The tender has been in the wine industry for over 12 years and told us that Urgup’s terrain, weather, and volcanic soil create an optimal environment for wine-growing. I’ll drink to that! On the way back down the road, we met up with a Dutch lady who asked what sights there were in the area. She does paintings of Turkish carpet designs. Got back just in time to have a beer and meet a fellow named John from Hong Kong. He and Corey actively considered making an Iraq border run in a few days. We made our way to the bus stop only to learn that the “bus cancelled”, according to the fellow whom I will refer to as Mr. Suha through the person whom he had asked to translate from Nevsehir Bus Company next door. Mr. Suha offered to either exchange our tickets for the next morning and set us up in a hotel for the night or give our money back. Corey (since Mr. Suha wouldn’t talk to me as I was a woman and only stooped to make grunting noises in my general direction when conversation seemed unavoidable) checked to see if there were any buses with any vacancy going anywhere on our list of places to go. No, no and no. then our “cancelled” bus showed up. Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Mr. Suha made some indication that it wasn’t our bus. But it had our destination on it from the same company with whom we had booked at the same time it was supposed to come. Double hmmmm. we finally booked passage with the very helpful and kind fellow from Nevsehir for Antakya the next morning. However, when we asked about getting the hostel from Mr. Suha, he actually laughed in Corey’s face and said we had nullified the offer when we booked with Nevsehir. Who he had told us was his brother and whom he had employed as our translator. That Mr. Suha. What a jerk! So the wonderful fellow from Nevsehir got us a 3-for-2 deal at the HI Shoestring Hostel run by Jesus. Everything turned out well, and we crossed our fingers about the ticket the next morning.

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