I'm writing this rather too long after the fact, so I'm going to leave you with edited highlights.

Göreme itself is a fairly small town centre with a noticable presence of tourist tat. There's also a fair number of restaurants and eateries, but freezing weather doesn't appear to be prime tourist season and the main street is all but lifeless.

Many of the buildings here are hollowed out from the rock, and our hotel is no exception.

The first order of business is a trip to the open air museum marking the some of the richest and earliest cave dwellings in the region.

The following day sees an abortive attempt at a balloon flight due to too much wind, so we replace it with a coach tour of the region.

The balloon flight comes off the following day, and it's fantastic. It's a bright winter day, and our pilot delights in telling us about the region as well as the science behind his balloon piloting.

The culinary highlight of the region is the testi kebab, meat and vegetables cooked in a sealed pot, which is broken open at the table when serving.

Posted Sun Mar 13 00:00:00 2011 Tags: Turkey

We arrive at the airport mid-afternoon, and there's a initial panic when the monitors suggest our flight has been brought forward 50 minutes. The boarding passes are reassuring, but that just leads to the passport control queue of doom.

Being Jeddah, of course, the flight is late. I'm not sure why we expected anything else.

Our late take-off has knock-on effects on our 1½ hour transfer in Istanbul. It turns out that we need to enter the country in Istanbul before transferring to the flight to the smaller airport at Kayseri. The immigration queue is slow and worrying, but ultimately we manage to reach the gate in time, although in my case in my socks.

There's a process in place at Kayseri. It states that passengers who have transferred from an international flight are bussed from the arrival lounge to a different baggage claim, so they can go through customs here. The different baggage claim fails to spit out my companion's bag however, which leads to a world of strife and bugging of airport staff. They succeed in locating the bag (it got left behind in Istanbul), and offer a promise that it will appear at our hotel soon, and a compensatory t-shirt. Which is scant protection against the literally freezing temperature.

I'm not smug much at all about managing to pack everything I need into carry-on.

Eventually we make it to the hotel conveyance. It's an hour or two to the hotel in Göreme, where sleep happens.

Posted Wed Mar 9 00:00:00 2011 Tags: Turkey