We have held true to making Cappadocia our new Spearfish. Although the 4 hour drive is a bit more of a haul than the measly hour from Rapid City to Spearfish, I have to say the reward is well worth it.
Will had a long weekend (well it became a long weekend when he took a day of leave to take advantage of the Veteran’s Day holiday). So we, along with most of the legal office at Incirlik, took off to the majestically odd little mountains of Cappadocia to relax.
This time we stayed at the Mithra Cave Hotel, and lucky for us, because it has chilled off in that area significantly since our last visit, it is considered the off season and hotel prices were incredibly reasonable. We splurged on a suite.
We actually ended up staying in two different rooms. I had seen online that some of the suites had huge jacuzzi tubs in them, but our first room was equipped with a sauna instead. Not that I don’t appreciate a good sauna, but I am partial to soaking in a tub of hot bubbly water myself, so we requested to move if another room became available. It kind of worked out perfectly because we got to enjoy all of the amenities during our stay.
This visit was SO much more pleasant than the last for the simple reason that the temps were so much cooler. We were able to sleep comfortably wrapped up in the plush comforter, and walk around town with an extra cozy layer on with no need to search for water or shade.
Even A appreciated partaking in some relaxation.
We desperately wanted to do the hot air balloon tour this time. Last time I was so pregnant I didn’t know if they would let me go, nor did I really feel like I would enjoy. Especially since a champagne toast is customary to celebrate a successful flight at the end, and obviously I couldn’t participate. However, this time, with a baby in tow, we had the new problem of the tour companies not allowing children under 6 on the flights. They offered for the women in the office to watch Aubrey for us while we went up in the balloon, but at 6 weeks I felt she was a little young to be away from me for that long. So we have had to postpone our balloon ride again.
Instead, our to do list involved hiking Pigeon Valley to see the fairy chimneys and cave dwellings up close, doing some Christmas shopping, and visiting Avanos to purchase a few more pottery pieces and see if we could find a place that would let us try our hand at throwing some clay as we had heard you could do in that area.
The first day we devoted to the hike. Which was a good thing, because it took us most of the day to complete…because we got terribly lost.
Everything we read, and had been told said that the trail was very clearly marked and easy to find. Only, we didn’t find that to be true and ended up going in the complete opposite direction trying to find it. We ended up walking miles in the wrong direction, all the way up to the Goreme Open Air Museum from which point we had to take a taxi back into downtown Goreme and start all over again. Luckily we then finally found the trail and embarked on the 4km hike to Uchisar.
We (or at least I) had planned to catch a taxi back to Goreme once we got there, but there were none to be found.
So we then had to make the long walk back to Goreme.
Poor Aubrey had been in the Ergo this whole time with the exception of getting out to nurse and get a diaper change a couple of times.
4ish hours later we finally made it back to our hotel, sweating, smelly, and utterly exhausted.
But we were really glad we finally got to see the infamous valley.
We settled at the hotel, put A down for a nap, and promptly took a soak in the jacuzzi tub to soothe our now aching muscles before dinner.
We went back to Pumpkin to eat since we promised the owner we would be back once Aubrey made her arrival. He actually remembered us and in spite of our screaming, unsettled (WAY overstimulated and tired) baby, he was so courteous and excited to meet our new addition. The food was just as incredible as we remembered, although due to Aubrey’s less than pleasant demeanor at the time, I barely got to enjoy mine between running in and out of the restaurant to walk and bounce her up and down the street in hopes she would fall asleep. Eventually I ended up having to go back to the hotel while Will got our dessert to go.
We ended our second night in front of the fireplace (in our new room) with some Cappadocian wine and a snoozing baby.