Previous entry (here).
Tour van picked me up at the hotel's entrance at 9am. A family of four from Canada; who was staying at the same hotel as me joined the tour as well. We picked up few more guests from their hotels on the way down to the town. And basically started our journey soon after the last guests entered the van.
It was still snowing heavily when we left the town. At that moment I kept telling myself that I will survive the cold temperature. Fasa tenangkan diri bermula. As much as I love snow & winter, I was more concerned to what I wore at that very moment. Sila jangan jatuh sakit; jangan jatuh sakit. The phrase chimed like a mantra in my head.
Back to the tour thing; I booked my Cappadocia Tour from the hotel I stayed at. They arranged everything for me. I purposely chose the Green Tour because it has the longest tour hour. Starts at 930am & ends at 6pm. And the cost is quite worthy considering the places listed in the tour itinerary.
Green Tour (930am to 6pm) - 100 TL
- Pigeon Valley
- Derinkuyu Underground City
- Ihlara Valley 3km hiking walk & lunch (drink excluded)
- Selime Monastery
- Photo stop at Goreme Panaroma
Red Tour (930am to 3pm) - 90 TL
- Goreme Open Air Museum
- Pasabaga Fairy Chimneys
- Avanos Pottery Centrum & Lunch (drink excluded)
- Urgup Family Fairy Chimneys
- Urgup Winery
- 3 Beauties
Blue Tour (9am to 5pm) - 120 TL
- Derinkuyu Underground City
- Sognali Valley Hiking Walk
- Sobessos Excavation
- Keslik Monastery
- Lunch in Mustafapasa
- Mustafapasa Sinasos
All tours include transportation, lunch (drink excluded), entrance tickets & taxes.
*Stops for each tour varies by company*
*Stops for each tour varies by company*
I intended to take the overnight bus (departs at 11pm) back to Istanbul later that evening hence I thought Green Tour would be the most masuk akal. Red Tour consists of too many places I don't want to go. While Blue Tour is too expensive for me.
Like any other tour, masa on the way to our first destination haruslah ada sesi ice breaking. Pastu our guide; si Omar (anggap jaklah nama dia Omar sebab aku lupa wei nama dia!) explained to us a little bit about Goreme. Supposedly the first place kami lawat is the underground city; which is located nearly 40 minutes away from the town. But according to Omar, a group of people from the Ministry is currently visiting the valley. Thus it was temporarily close to public. Pasal tu kami divert the route. First is the Goreme Panaroma; only few kilometers from the town.
10 April 2015
|# Simply breathtaking.|
Unfortunately due to the snowfall, I didn't really get to see the landscape of the vast valley of fairy chimneys & rock formations. And, dalam teruja tengok ni semua aku sebenarnya tahan diri dari mengigil. Wowing every now & then; and at the same time menyumpah diri sebab pakai jaket nipis.
|# Memang antara wish aku untuk witness benda ni sebenarnya. Lepas tu bila wish dijawab, kau meroyan kan Bie.|
|# Replicas of fairy chimneys covered in snow. Schomel.|
|# Fuh! Memang port paling ngam untuk layan view. I wonder how it looks like in autumn.|
|# Berusaha ambil gambar ni few takes walau tangan al-gigil.|
We were given less than 20 minutes to enjoyed the scenery here. The not so good point of joining a tour. Reason why I don't favor travelling with tour agent. Time given is super limited; walau accom & makan semua dijaga rapi. Part tu jak yang win sebenarnya.
Di panorama point ni ada kedai jual souvenir. And also a little cafe. Sebab aku blah awal dari port cantik untuk view Goreme, jadinya aku ada masa untuk survey benda dalam kedai. Bukan mau beli souvenir but I was looking for something that could help me endure with the coldness. Heat pack haruslah langsung ndak dijumpa. Hatta Ahjumma jaga kedai pun ndak tau apa benda alah tu. Sobs! I bought a faux velvet gloves for 30 TL. Walaupun pelesu, tetap tebal & comfy. Daripada tiada, kan? Nasiblah pakai sneakers so terpelihara sikit haba di kaki.
|# Alhamdulillah si Err jumpa gloves.|
Next in the itinerary is the Selime Monastery. Masa ni aku sudah start rasa mamai. Mengantuk! Sepanjang journey pi monastery, aku disajikan view yang memutih. Lawa gila! Tapi sakit mata sebab van tu laju, then kiri kanan putih melepak. Its like the whole place was wrapped up in snow. Dalam pada layan view putih salju, aku terlelap.
Terjaga masa van stopped to refuel. Tengok jam; dekat sejam sudah dalam van, Belum sampai? Ouh rupanya jarak dari Goreme pi Selime Monastery ni a bit jauh juga. Sebab si Err tiada study pun about these places, pasal tu banyak benda yang ndak di-tau.
|# Sepanjang perjalanan dihidangi view salju memutih.|
|# Padang jarak...|
"The largest Cathedral in Cappadocia; dated back to 8th & 9th Century. While the frescos dated to late 10th & 11th Century. It has a multi-storey structure carved into rocks at a high point. The Cathedral served during the Byzantium period as a significant center for religious activities for Christians"
Finally, after an hour (or more) we arrived at our destination. It was still snowing. For seconds, I kinda hesitated to not or to hop off from the bus. Ikut hati memang mau lepak jak dalam van. Tapi macam bingai & keji jak perangai gitu. Sudahlah bayar mahal; datang dari jauh pula tu. Baru sejuk sikit pun sudah gave up. And so I got off from the van & joined the other group members.
|# Pastu dapat tahu, rupanya kena mendaki! Cathedral itu nuuuuun jauh di atas sana.|
Lagi special dalam aktiviti hiking walk ni; kau kena alert sama group lain. Say like u're on ur way up; u have to be alert of the people going down the hill. Kena rajin bagi signal. Jadinya ndaklah bertembung di tengah jalan nan sempit itu. Because there are only a few 'waiting spots' along the route. Kalau bertembung di area yang tiada tempat untuk menunggu, one of the group kena mengalah & return back to the waiting spot.
|# First non-secret mass in Cappadocia was conducted here.|
Selain tempat sembahyang orang Krisitan, Cathedral ni juga jadi pangkalan tentera penting. And juga digunakan as castle. Dulu kala diorang bina parit & benteng di keliling monastery ni untuk pertahanan dari musuh.
|# Well hello there Selime Monastery! Gigih ok I memanjat untuk sampai pi depan kau.|
|# Proof! Siaplah salji cair di lens sang kamera.|
|# Untunglah ada payung.|
|# Belum jejak Switzerland tapi yang ni bolehlah anggap Swiss-like landscape kan.|
|# Where the tour vans were parked.|
|# Snow-capped hills from afar.|
I entered the cathedral via its entrance door. Wandered inside a little bit. Looking for the kitchen but to no avail. And ur motive looking for kitchen Ms Err?
|# One of the many sections inside the cathedral.|
|# Up up I went.|
|# Tens of rooms connected to each other via those tunnels & passages.|
Didn't spend much time inside as it started to get too cold. After entering few of the tunnels & explored the outside vicinity; I descended the hills & headed to the parking lot.
|# Imagine the narrow route to reach the monastery.|
|# Back in the days, this area used for commerce. Caravans frequently arrived here as a result of the bazaar.|
When I arrived at the parking lot, the driver wasn't there. And so did Umar. Saw a souvenir shop near the parking lot & decided to go in. Wanted to use the WC; air adalah sejuk bedi oii! So untuk compensate rasa sejuk I bought a cup of hot tea. Lepak dalam cafe while tunggu the rest finished their tour. We were given less than an hour & I thought that would not be enough. Alas, si Err kalah dengan cuaca. Ndak palah, kegigihan aku mendaki tu berbaloi juga.
We departed soon after all the tour members entered the van. Umar then told us we're heading to a restaurant for our lunch. He gave us a menu with few selections & asked us to choose what we want. Later he made a phone call to the restaurant confirming our orders. I don't remember what I chose but definitely not meat.
"Now, we go lunch."
Gitu terus semua semangat. Tapi ndak lama sebab lepas tu sorang-sorang tumbang ke medan mimpi. Rasa macam lama lagi mau jejak tempat menjamu perut jadi aku pun join the club. Layan mata!
|# Layan view putih salju sekejap sebelum melelap mata.|
|# Syukur; ni memang dream aku dari dulu.|
Not sure bila kami sampai restoran. Tapi sempat lah juga aku terjaga few times; silau dari pandangan putih di luar. Tapi malas mau buka curtain. Perangai.
Ok nanti aku sambung Part II untuk Green Tour ni.
But before I end this entry; congrats to Datuk Lee Chong Wei on ur victory! We sure are proud of u. From the very bottom of our heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Silver!