23rd June, Çanakkale
Ouranoupoli – the last night in Greece, on 23rd June we’re on the way to Turkey, to West then to Central Anatolia. The border crossing is quite fast. On the Greek side nobody bothers, on the Turkish side a stamp per person and a sticker on the passport for Prado.
To avoid the all traffic jams around Istanbul we decided to cross the Dardanelles Strait by a short ferry trip to reach Çanakkale on the Asian side of Turkey.
On the European side we passed the battlefields of Gallipoli, where some 100 years ago the Turks conquered a brits – ozzy – kiwi coalition of the brave and courageous defending whatever seemed to be important to some politicians. Waiting for the ferry we could admire some of the heroes in presumed action.
Çanakkale – nice seafront restaurants, a cold beer, watching the freighters passing by and a hotel offering us a suite for the prize of an odd cheapy room (Çanak Hotel). Prado had to stay on the roadside, the hotel “ensured its security” by taking a snapshot of it – an it worked.
25th June, Ayvalik and Pergama
Along the Dardanelles Strait, a last glimpse of Europe and shortly afterwards we arrived in Ayvalik, a small town on the shores of Eastern Mediterranean. It’s famous for its characterful pensions – historic houses converted into B&B at a prize of a campground in Europe. Bonjour Pension was our choice. Prado got his pension in a so-called otopark – a secured parking in someone’s backyard.
Next stop Pergama. A small town, another historic B&B and the famous greek’n’roman remains of their former empires.
Nowadays even a cable car to drive up the hill; definitely contrary to the Greeks and romans who probably had to climb up the hill after having done their shopping tour to Pergama CDB.
After all these old stone, a short hike downhill, passing the old town …
… and finally time for some Turkish delights.
26th June, Pamukkale
Well, after all these historic towns and cultural sights, the need to see fellow tourists – especially those who are on an all-inclusive trip in one of the famous beach resorts and booked an 2 day adventure trip to experience real authentic Turkey. We headed to Pamukkale one of the Turkish top sights. On the way the rolling hills of Western Anatolia covered with olive trees.
Pamukkale CBD originally is pretty small: about 2469 inhabitants; to this you have to add 167 874 tourists all staying for 1 night in this village. To avoid all different tourist offers available there we opted for Tebe Camping some 4 km uphill; with a beautiful view and a good restaurant.
Of course, later on we had to see what all odd tourists had to see: the roman-greek remains of the city of Hierapolis and the famous travertines.
The restored theatre of Hierapolis looks quite impressive…
… nevertheless the real reason to come is the travertines. Picturesque, many places to splurge in the water and many odd tourists to observe.
A great place to see different lifestyles observing each other; to find a businessman full of sorrows checking his cell phone to know whether his latest shopping mall in Semonkong (Lesotho) has already opened and if grandfather Jiang Fing Fang is still well. And finally, a future Chinese model exercising for her 1st on-stage tour in Shanghai.
But still there are some beautiful places to admire: the terraces.
28th June, Egirdir
On to the small town of Egirdir at – of course – at lake Egirdir. We found Charlie’s Pension. Great place where all odd tourists (the few ones) meet. A camera to observe Prado’s public parking. Wondering who the hell is watching this screen the whole night to ensure the car’s security. And, a great place to watch the storm in the late afternoon behind closed windows.
The place is quite different to other archaeological sites as the excavations and restorations are under way.
There are parts solidly covered by bush and grass, parts neatly restored and a great place where poor students have to show the university their motivation by doing some unpaid earth works, by discovering some old stones and by carefully noting everything in some strange books.
1st June, Göreme
Next stop was Güzelyurt in Cappadocia. On the way the final proof that we’re on the right way – on the Silk Road: the 1st caravanserai in Sultanhani. Nowadays, unfortunately, there were no more traders connecting the world with their camels. Nevertheless, an interesting place full of history and a surprise.
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In the evening we arrived in Güzelyurt. A rather small place out of the tourist mainstream and famous for being not too far from Ilhara Valley with its historic rock churches.
In the evening time to visit the nearby monastery valley with its cave churches. Unfortunately, in the churches a certain tendency to vandalism is pretty visible as well as no real effort to protect monuments of a different culture.
At least here some protection works are under way. Even if a little late, steel grilled doors and video surveillance should avoid further damage to the frescoes.
Even the miracle of no tourists found its reason – real hard-core tour groups are there, but they use a different entrance near a tea shop. An opportunity to drink some tea, to make some wonderful selfies and to return to their minibuses.
Later on we moved on to Göreme. This is the point, were we’re really back on our trip from Maseru (Lesotho) to Punta Arenas (Argentine). 30 months ago we passed here on our way from Maseru to Laufenburg. At that time an opportunity to see the must-see sights. Then it was grim winter, bitterly cold and no tourists anywhere. By now it has slightly changed. It’s definitely warmer and countless tourists are on a never-ending shopping tour. Consequently, instead of shops where you buy useful goods, it seems all people in this town just need souvenirs and carpets. Just to add numerous travel agencies and restaurants all selling the same stuff.
In the evening we climbed up to sunset point. Incredible view …
Please click on the arrow 2c the Panorama
And finally another cave church.
After all this, we’re still on our way to the east. Out of major tourist hot spots, towards Eastern Anatolian adventures – more about this in the next post.