Thursday, October 23

Day 56-Goreme

The days have passed quickly since I left rebellious southeastern Turkey. Wanting to put in a long distance in a short time required taking a flight to the capital city of Ankara. Arriving at sundown, I was a bit concerned about how I would get to my hotel in the "seedy" Ulus district, it being 33 km from the airport! I was flush with pride and exertion when I arrived at its door two hours later purely by means of public transport, no taxis involved. Oddly, this is the kind of thing that I enjoy.

The next morning I hustled off to the Museum of Anatolian History just up the hill from the hotel, (an unforeseen benefit of overnighting in this decrepit part of the city). In it are housed artifacts from excavations all over Turkey, that range from 8000 years old Stone Age, to the relatively recent Roman Age of 2000 years ago. Wandering its collections of chipped obsidian weapons, clay goddess figures, carved basalt friezes, elaborate bronze pottery, and Roman coins and statues, I convinced myself that it must be among the great museums of the world, and was grateful for having stumbled into the opportunity.

Such a frantic pace revealed its price later that day as I arrived in the moonscape village of Goreme, after a somewhat grueling bus ride. I was feeling chilled and achey but still pushed myself to climb the overlook and enjoy a beer for sunset. By that night I was definitely bitten by some stomach bug and despite four heavy blankets, could not get warm in my carved rock room. The next 30 hours passed in various depths of fitful sleep, and now on the other side, I can say that Turkey ıs more than just a vısıon passıng before me eyes, rather, in a very real sense, Turkey is inside of me.

I am lucky that such events pass quickly with relatively little suffering, may it always be so, and today felt more or less back to normal. I took the opportunity to rent a motorcycle so as to see more of this splendid landscape. Tearing down dirt roads that gradually narrowed to double track, to single track to impassible hiking trail, I felt right at home. No doubt, this is how I would chose to spend a sunny October afternoon wherever I live! Having had such a pleasant, fun and casual day has led to me conclude that it is time to slow down the pace for a while, to linger more and hurry less. That said, I am off to new places tomorrow!

1 comment:

J.P. Agrawal said...

Ken, sorry to hear that you felt a stomach bug and chilled under four blankets. Glad it passed in 30 hours. Hard for me to believe it has been 2 months already that you left on your quest around the world and every day brings you closer to India!

I had a stomach bug for 3-4 days in Kathmandu, Nepal once long ago. It was rough then!

Bunch of time in Turkey he! Why not ? The climate is perfect and it has history and architecture. It has a real fusion of Western and Arab cultures and a blend of those people.

Stay well my