Friday, April 13, 2012

TRAVELLING: To the Land of beautiful Horses and beyond...

   This is my first post about a very nice travel I did with some good friends many years ago. It was a long travel full of very interesting and unique places and  because I want to make it right, I will write about it in parts. (If you are wondering about the title, according to one theory  the word Capadokkia comes from the anc.Percian name  ‘Katpatuka’ which means the land of beautiful horses, because that area was famous for its horse breeding).
Well, we’d better get started...
    Many years ago,( it was late spring if i remember well) we were sitting at a cafe with my girlfriend back then (now my wife), and a couple who were our friends, talking of what we could do on summer. We wanted to go on a nice trip with the bikes but didn’t know where.We  said we could maybe visit the coastline of Turkey, and it sounded nice, but suddenly my  girlfriend (who is Turkish by the way) saıd ‘why don’t we visit Capadokkia?’
Capadokkia… A fairy tales’ land (in my head at least), the land with the undeground cities, the houses carved in the rocks, the monasteries dating back to the 1st century… But also the land that lies in the center of Turkey.
We all fell silent for a moment. I guess we all liked the idea, but we were considering if we can do it and how.  I saw my friend looking at me, smiling, and he said ‘at least we can give it a try’.That was it! 2 minutes later we were all talking in excitement on how to go , when  to go, what to see etc…
2 motorcycles, 4 people, a great travel ahead, everything looked great!
The next months passed very slowly mainly over maps and  travelling brochures in order to gather as many information as possible. Every time a new place was added, and finally we decided to make a big round in order to see many places that were close to the route of  Capadokkia, and from there and on.
I don’t remeber very well now, but if I’m not mistaken the whole trip would be approximately  4000 km. Great stuff!
   Last days before the travel another friend was added to join our company, but with a car not a bike. So finally we were 5 people with 2 bikes and a car. What a waste of fuel!
    The big day finally arrived, and we all took the ferry from Athens to Chios and from there another small ferry to pass to Cesme, a small Turkish port  in the Aegean coastline.Everyone was so excited, and we couldn’t wait to ride our bikes and begin the trip. We reached Cesme, and headed south. First stop: Kusadasi. The famous touristic resort of Turkey. We stayed overnight only to be able to  visit the ruins of the ancient Greek (and later Roman) city of Ephesus. Despite the crowd and the heat, Ephesus was spectacular!
 I strongly recommend it to everyone that visits the coastline of Turkey. Huge city, well preserved in many parts, including among others  the very big ancient theatre (60000 people capacity), and the breathtaking Celcus Library. After we satisfied our cultural needs it was time for some fun. So, next stop: a huge watermania ! hehehe.
   The next morning we left Kusadasi, on our way to the inlands to visit an amazing place called Pamukkale, and the ancient city of Hierapolis that lies next to it.
To be continued...