Posted by: David Stewart | June 17, 2013

Final days in Turkey

This is part of a series of posts about out Spring 2013 trip

El Nazar Church, Goreme, TurkeyEl Nazar Church, Goreme, TurkeyEl Nazar Church, Goreme, Turkey

Friday, April 26

As Friday is the Muslim day of prayer, we actually didn’t have a lot planned for today. We visited the El Nazar church, another rock church quite close to Goreme, in fact it was closer than the Open Air Museum. It was built inside a single hollowed-out rock and was quite old.

After this, we went into Urgup to do some shopping (Debbie and Susan), walking (Court) and wine tasting (me). We met up at lunch time and ate a simple schwarma sandwich on the street corner. After this, Susan did more hiking, Deb walked all around the town of Goreme, I went for a run and we got back together again before dinner. Both Deb and I had actually found the Seten Restaurant – the lost place! So we ate there and we loved it. It was a more expensive dinner, but it was very special since we celebrated Susan and Court’s 10 year anniversary.

Saturday, April 27

Kayseri, TUrkey

Taking off from Kayseri, Turkey on Pegasus Airlines

This was mostly a travel day back to Istanbul. We awoke early, ate a quick breakfast, and then cleared out of the hotel by 7:30AM. We had a one hour drive to Kayseri to return our rental car. Then a 1.5 hour flight to Istanbul’s smaller, domestic airport. Finally a torturous 2.5 hour drive from the domestic airport back our our hotel, the Side, in Sultanameht. The drive hit a massive traffic jam, complete with salespeople passing out drinks and simits on the road to stopped cars. This so drained us, that our planned last afternoon in Istanbul turned out to be fairly limited.

We did work on things like shopping for some meds for Court to use in airplane emergencies and hanging out and talking. At the end of the day, we ate at a place with a pretty terrific view of the city, although they seemed pretty maxed out with a tour group there and the service was pretty poor.

Sunday, April 28

Our final morning in Istanbul, we had breakfast at the Side and climbed in a car we had reserved for the trip to Ataturk airport. The problem was that a nation multi-stage bike race was finishing in Istanbul on the same day. This tournament had a stage in Izmir, which forced us to restructure our time in Turkey to hit Izmir earlier in our trip rather than later.  But instead of missing the race, it had caught up with us again back in Istanbul.  When we got into the Side, we were pretty sure that some dignitaries or celebrities associated with the race were staying next door in the Four Seasons hotel because of the large number of dark suited men hanging out in front.

The start time for the last stage of the race was 12:40, and our car was set to meet us at 9:00AM. Would we make it out in spite of closed roads? The other complication was that the insanely narrow streets in that part of Istanbul meant that a large load of tour buses overloaded the whole section of town. Fortunately, the driver was only 10 minutes late picking us up and we made it to the airport in plenty of time for our flights.


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