Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cappadocia Diary - 1

We arrived in the evening to our hotel, Esbelli Evi in the city of Urgup (YER-gyup). It was dark so it was hard to tell what we were getting into. The place looked very rustic and ancient, perhaps even run down. It is an amazing complex in that it is more or less a mini village of houses and buildings all connected like a labyrinth with many tunnels, stairs, and walkways. But we quickly discovered that it was that and so much more.

It is hard to say how much of this is Old World original and how much has been recently added, but the best way to describe it would be to say that it is like an ancient stone village with all the modern luxuries you could want, from built-in sound systems to wireless broadband internet.

Our hosts are amazing, very warm and friendly, and so very knowledgeable about this region. They are not without a sense of humor either, which we found out after their profuse apologies for only being able to provide us with a small room, when in fact they upgraded is to a massive "honeymoon" suiite that is larger than our apartment in the city. Even the bathroom here is as big as the last room we had in Istanbul.

After settling, we were directed to a cafe down the road, which I must say now - it is a definite must-see! The place is called Ziggy's, and the staff are just as warm and friendly as anyone we've met here, and the food they serve is outstanding!

It was late when we arrived, but they took us in. A guest sitting alone at the prime spot by the fireplace graciously offered his space to us. After we gorged ourselves on the feast we ordered (hey Chris, we had some awesome borega!), we got to know the staff and hear their stories (once again, French came in handy whenever there was a Turkish/English impasse). They were a lot of fun, and very generous. Along with sharing with us shots of some great melon liqueur, they sent us off with a nice gift in honor of our honeymoon. We weren't even working it. Our hotel hosts had put a word out, it seems.

It was a great first night, and our first day here will be loaded by a full slate of hiking and sightseeing, kindly organized by our hoteliers. Details on that to come soon.

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