I had planned to explore some of the cave churches outside of the Open Air Museum on my last morning in Goreme, but I was feeling rather under the weather and was leaning towards not walking there in the heat. As I was chatting with the hotel owner, I mentioned this, and he offered to drive me to the church. He kindly chauffeured me around to the church and back to the bus station where I bought my ticket!
The church was another lovely example of cave churches, and had some frescoes left:
I then bought my ticket to Ankara, trying my fourth Turkish bus company, Suha. (They were quite good.) I needed to kill some time, so I walked around the town, finally sitting in the shade on a bench by the mosque. An older man came by and said “welcome to Goreme”. We got to chatting a little bit, and he told me he had lived in Belgium for a time. So we spoke in a mix of English and French, and then he invited me to take some tea in his shop across the way. I told him that unfortunately I was meeting someone, which I felt bad about because he seemed quite nice and harmless, but I’m still a little wary of nice Turkish men as I never know what unfortunate stereotypes they may have heard about American women and I didn’t want another awkward situation like that in Pamukkale. However, his genuine niceness made a lovely bright spot in my day. I also had a bit of a laugh as a minute or two after a horse and carriage went by, this young ‘un did too:
I had lunch in the same restaurant my Brazilian friend and I had eaten at the previous night. This time I knew what to order – gozelme, a delicious thin stuffed bread. The restaurant owner gave everyone a little clay pot with attached evil eye bead, and several of us (all tourists of course) started chatting. It was a lovely lunch, which also killed most of the remaining time before my bus. I returned to the hotel to pick up my bags, they gave me a lift to the bus station, and I was on my way to the capital!
I found my hotel with no trouble as it was right across the street from a metro stop. I was grateful for the ease of finding the place, and decided to have a quiet evening writing a blog entry and eating soup in the hotel.
The hotel restaurant was deserted – they actually had to turn on the lights for me! They have an old record player so I got to hear Frank Sinatra, though at the end they turned on a pop music station. (No offense to anyone intended, but the Turkish music videos I saw were hilariously awful!) I tried to get the check but the first two times I asked, they thought I had asked for tea (chai not check!). Eventually I did get my check however, and made my exit to my room.