14 September 2016

Turkiye Day 7 - Cappadocia Green Tour Part III

Assalamualaikum. Marhaba.

Previous post (here).

Moving from Ihlara Valley to Derinkuyu Underground City; somewhere not too far from the valley. On the way to Derinkuyu, I can see the sunlight no more. Rasa sejuk mula mengigit kulit. Unpredictable Turkiye weather.

Before entering; our guide gave us a bit of an introduction about this underground city. Lastly he asked if any of us have claustrophobia or anything related to being fear when being in an enclosed space. Masa ni lah aku contemplating whether mau teruskan niat untuk masuk or just stay di luar & cuci mata tengok deretan kedai (nan sedikit & very very uninteresting). Before I could decide, Umar took our silence as a "No, no one in this group suffer such fear." 

Maka masuklah kami secara berjemaah. Because the entrance was a bit narrow, semua pun masuk dengan tatatertib. Ikut turn gitu.

10 April 2015
Derinkuyu Underground City

"This underground city is an ancient multi-level underground city in Nevsehir, Turkey. Having depth to approximately 200 feet, it is large enough to sheltered as many as 20,000 (!!) people together with their livestock & food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey." -wiki-

# The entrance.
# Passage in the Underground City.
The city contained not only livestock & food stores; but also stores, kitchen, stalls (yes, they did trading down there), wine & oil presses, ventilation shaft, well & religious school. It has at least Eight Levels.
# U have to crawl to get through that passage. And I opted to walked upon the 'mini-bridge' above it.
There's a narrow vertical staircase between the Third & Fourth Level in which lead to the cruciform church.
# Tarik nafas paling dalam; if I'm not mistaken this is the staircase that lead to the church.
# Overcoming my fear in an enclosed room. Walhal nafas adalah turun naik; hidung kembang kuncup. Nasib ndak pengsan.
# A 55m ventilation shafts; have been used as a well. If the outside world is not accessible, this shaft is used to provide water to those hiding underground.
# The church which is located at the lowest accessible level in the city (Fifth Level). 
# The church no longer has its original cruciform architecture.
# See that two small holes on the right side? It was said those were once used to tie the livestock.
# Oh yeah, like I said earlier. They had serious jual beli business down here back in the days.
# Yang menseriaukan.
# To the graveyard room. And I was able to reached this far only. Sekian.
We finished touring the underground city in less than 2 hours. Pastu masa untuk another destination. The last one in our itinerary. 

On the way, snowfall lagi sekali. Nasiblah masa ni badan sudah dapat adjust & adapt with the sudden temperature changes. Else, jadi beku lah lagi aku. Sebab kejadian ni lah nama Elsa terus melekat kemas di dahi aku. 
# Seputih salju. Yet another white journey back to Goreme.
Pigeon Valley
# Sumpah lawa! Terus rasa macam mau cari dward di dalam sana. Tiba-tiba!
# Macam mimpi. Masih ndak percaya aku pernah beridiri di depan benda ni semua. 
# Saujana mata memandang.

Di bawah pokok tulah where I met few rakyat-negara-sendiri tengah layan aksi gegar pokok tunggu salji jatuh & pose. Nampak aku, semua menjeling muka masam. Maka haruslah si Err pun malas layan lantas atur langkah pi tempat lain. Ada ku kesah? Hello, the two minah with me were Koreans tau! Lagi kerlas layan orang kampong I tau.

We stopped the most sekejap at this place. A 'fleeting stop' I must say. Adalah dalam 15 minit keluar dari van before we were called to get in sebab masa untuk gerak to our final destination. And I thought the pigeon valley would be the last one kan. 

Turned out; kitorang melawat kilang *ok my bad I forgot what factory it was*. Ada demo how the thing was done, then melawat tempat pameran yadda yadda. Next thing u know, of courselah sesi racun minda untuk beli produk diorang. Luckily tiada aksi paksa-memaksa. Most of my tour members opted to lepak outside the shopping area. Ada few members from our group & other groups yang gigih tanya itu ini. Thank God we didn't spend much time there. 

From the factory, we were sent back to our respective hotels. I picked up my bags at the reception room, lepas tu singgah washroom to take my shower. Although my system failed to produce even an oz of sweat the whole day, still I felt stuffy thus the need to shower. Perlu badan segar bugar & baju sewangi alam supaya boleh naik bas & tidur dengan aman. It's going to be a long night in the bus. 10 hours plus journey to Istanbul. Bertabah! 

Dari hotel, aku walkertapaki jak pi bus station. Relakan hari berwalkertapaki sebab jalan menurun bukit. Kalau menaik, memang awal lagi aku panggil teksi.
# Dinner cum supper. 
Sempat isi perut before naik bas. Alhamdulillah bus arrived & departed on time. Macam biasa, once the bus moved the attendant will started pushing the cart full with snacks & hot drinks. Aku sempat kidnapped few snacks before I called the night off. Considering aku baru lepas melantak, any drink is a big no-no. Nanti ndak pasal-pasal mau terkucil tengah jalan. Buatnya RNR jauh lagi, ndak kah jadi aksi spiderman dalam bas kan.

Seating arrangement kali ni 2-2. So aku tiada choice untuk ambik single seat. And ditakdirkan kali ni bas adalah full. Tinggal harapan untuk dapat vacant seat sebelah. Nasib minah sebelah aku adalah super behave. Kami bekerjasama tidur dalam 'zon' masing-masing. 

Esok pagi buka mata sudah sampai Istanbul. The whole journey tidur mati. Eh adalah sekali terjaga sebab bas stopped untuk ambil penumpang tapi ndak tau negeri mana. Paling bangga, aku ndak sedar bas singgah RNR. Jadinya tiadalah si Err singgah toilet sepanjang malam. Achievement yang boleh dibanggakan. 

So what's next? Misi untuk tawaf Istanbul before my flight back to Malaysia later that evening. Hoyeah! Sikit masa lagi akan habislah entry Turkiye ni. Insha Allah. Hwaiting!

Till then, annyeong!

eryantierdabdulkarim

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4 September 2016

Turkiye Day 7 - Cappadocia Green Tour Part II

Assalamualaikum. Marhaba.

Previous post (here).

As said earlier, lunch was part of the tour cost. But drink is excluded. We made our lunch order while in the bus on the way to the restaurant. Took us nearly an hour to reach the Star Restaurant somewhere near the Ihlara Valley from Selime Monastery. Never mind part jalan jauh for we had a good 'rest' before the lunch. Cuaca sejuk haruslah mengundang rasa ngantuk. So tidur adalah rahmat.

10 April 2015
Star Restaurant, Aksaray
# Bread is FOC when u're in Turkey. We were served this before our meal arrived.
Masa ni baru berkenal sama dua Koreans. Both speak very very fluent English & Italian. Both studies in Rome. Ok ni memang golongan ado-ado. Tapi yang buat si Err excited haruslah upon knowing they're from Korea. Orang kampong! Annyeong. Sudah dapat geng, teruslah makan bersama semeja sehati sejiwa senada
# My lunch. If I'm not mistaken this was neither fish nor chicken. I chose vege + rice. 
Ihlara Valley

After lunch, we headed straight to Ihlara Valley for our 3km hiking walk activity. I was already half freezing at this moment. But immediately felt relieved once I saw the green view of the valley. Which only meant one thing to me; no snow here. Bolehlah hiking dengan tenang tanpa gigil. 

"Ihlara Village was formed by the Melendiz River thousand of years ago. It is believed this valley housed more than 4,000 dwellings & a hundred cave churches decorated with frescoes. Around 80,000 people once live in this village."

# Green green grass; walau pokok nan-mati.
# Attention seeker. Pun sibuk join kami kena briefing before starting our hiking walk. 


We entered the village via the 2nd entrance; and had to go down nearly 300 steps to reach the village from the entrance. And silently I prayed to still be able to climb those stairs when we're done hiking later.
# Snowfall stopped torturing me because these came to 'rescue'?
The guide brought us to few cave churches in this village. The churches here are reminiscent of the early churches of Syria & Coptic churches of Egypt. I didn't take much pictures inside the churches for I opted to listen the explanation from our guide. Malangnya, berdengung. Nan hado yang aku dengar.
# Church under the Tree; different from the other churches of the Byzantine world because the decorations & paintings all betraying the strong eastern influence.
# We walked following the Melendiz River while climbing rocks & trees at certain points.
Had a 5 minutes rest at a small shop in the village. Sepanjang hiking, it's either trees of river that we encountered. And suddenly a shop appeared. Magic gitu. Sini bolehlah singgah tumpang washroom. Or beli souvenirs. Or mencekik lagi beli light snacks. But because we just had our lunch prior coming, I didn't buy anything here. 
# Small shop; located just where the river expand.
# Bunch of chairs & tables are setup here. Sesuai untuk yang mau singgah isi perut di sini.
# Pokok kering mostly nya. Ingatkan spring semua akan hijau memekar.
# Ancient domestic dwellings opened from the valley walls.
# Thousand of pigeon holes.
Tengah sibuk admire all those pigeon holes, suddenly I saw a gate in front of us. Pastu banyak tour buses & also tour vans parked. Barulah sedar that we have reach the end of our tour. And I later found out this place is also the 3rd entrance to this village; called Belisirma Village. 

Jarak hiking walk adalah 3km; and I did it in an hour. Bolehlah bikin keluar peluh & panaskan badan. Terus ndak jadi demam si Err. Alhamdulillah. 

So where's next? Haruslah tempat yang aku rasa 50-50 mau join or ndak. Mencabar kecekalan minda. Part keluar masuk; turun naik bukit or gua boleh tolerate lagi; tapi part masuk underground ni aku seriau extra. Nantilah aku continue entry. 

Till then; annyeong!

eryantierdabdulkarim

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20 August 2016

Turkiye Day 7 - Cappadocia Green Tour Part I

Assalamualaikum. Marhaba.

Previous entry (here).

Tour van picked me up at the hotel's entrance at 9am. A family of four from Canada; who was staying at the same hotel as me joined the tour as well. We picked up few more guests from their hotels on the way down to the town. And basically started our journey soon after the last guests entered the van. 

It was still snowing heavily when we left the town. At that moment I kept telling myself that I will survive the cold temperature. Fasa tenangkan diri bermula. As much as I love snow & winter, I was more concerned to what I wore at that very moment. Sila jangan jatuh sakit; jangan jatuh sakit. The phrase chimed like a mantra in my head. 

Back to the tour thing; I booked my Cappadocia Tour from the hotel I stayed at. They arranged everything for me. I purposely chose the Green Tour because it has the longest tour hour. Starts at 930am & ends at 6pm. And the cost is quite worthy considering the places listed in the tour itinerary. 

Green Tour (930am to 6pm) - 100 TL
- Pigeon Valley
- Derinkuyu Underground City
- Ihlara Valley 3km hiking walk & lunch (drink excluded)
- Selime Monastery
- Photo stop at Goreme Panaroma

Red Tour (930am to 3pm) - 90 TL
- Goreme Open Air Museum
- Pasabaga Fairy Chimneys
- Avanos Pottery Centrum & Lunch (drink excluded)
- Urgup Family Fairy Chimneys
- Urgup Winery
- 3 Beauties

Blue Tour (9am to 5pm) - 120 TL
- Derinkuyu Underground City
- Sognali Valley Hiking Walk
- Sobessos Excavation
- Keslik Monastery
- Lunch in Mustafapasa
- Mustafapasa Sinasos

All tours include transportation, lunch (drink excluded), entrance tickets & taxes.

*Stops for each tour varies by company*

I intended to take the overnight bus (departs at 11pm) back to Istanbul later that evening hence I thought Green Tour would be the most masuk akal. Red Tour consists of too many places I don't want to go. While Blue Tour is too expensive for me. 

Like any other tour, masa on the way to our first destination haruslah ada sesi ice breaking. Pastu our guide; si Omar (anggap jaklah nama dia Omar sebab aku lupa wei nama dia!) explained to us a little bit about Goreme. Supposedly the first place kami lawat is the underground city; which is located nearly 40 minutes away from the town. But according to Omar, a group of people from the Ministry is currently visiting the valley. Thus it was temporarily close to public. Pasal tu kami divert the route. First is the Goreme Panaroma; only few kilometers from the town. 

10 April 2015
Goreme Panorama
# Simply breathtaking. 
Unfortunately due to the snowfall, I didn't really get to see the landscape of the vast valley of fairy chimneys & rock formations. And, dalam teruja tengok ni semua aku sebenarnya tahan diri dari mengigil. Wowing every now & then; and at the same time menyumpah diri sebab pakai jaket nipis. 
# Memang antara wish aku untuk witness benda ni sebenarnya. Lepas tu bila wish dijawab, kau meroyan kan Bie.
# Replicas of fairy chimneys covered in snow. Schomel.
# Fuh! Memang port paling ngam untuk layan view. I wonder how it looks like in autumn.
# Berusaha ambil gambar ni few takes walau tangan al-gigil.
We were given less than 20 minutes to enjoyed the scenery here. The not so good point of joining a tour. Reason why I don't favor travelling with tour agent. Time given is super limited; walau accom & makan semua dijaga rapi. Tu jak part yang win.

Di panorama point ni ada kedai jual souvenir. And also a little cafe. Sebab aku blah awal dari port cantik untuk view Goreme jadinya aku ada masa untuk survey benda dalam kedai, Bukan mau beli souvenir but I was looking for something that could help me with the coldness. Heat pack haruslah langsung ndak dijumpa. Hatta Ahjumma jaga kedai pun ndak tau benda alah tu. Sobs! I bought a faux velvet gloves for 30 TL. Walaupun pelesu, tetap tebal & comfy. Daripada tiada, kan? Nasiblah pakai sneakers so terpelihara sikit haba di kaki. 
# Alhamdulillah si Err jumpa gloves.
Next in the itinerary is the Selime Monastery. Masa ni aku sudah start rasa mamai. Mengantuk! Sepanjang journey pi monastery, aku disajikan view yang memutih. Lawa gila! Tapi sakit mata sebab van tu laju, then kiri kanan putih melepak. Its like the whole place was wrapped up in snow. Dalam pada layan view putih salju, aku terlelap.

Terjaga masa van stopped to refuel. Tengok jam; dekat sejam sudah dalam van, Belum sampai? Ouh rupanya jarak dari Goreme pi Selime Monastery ni a bit jauh juga. Sebab si Err tiada study pun pasal tempat ni semua tu pasal banyak benda yang ndak di-tau. 
# Sepanjang perjalanan dihidangi view salju memutih.
# Padang jarak...bukan padang tekukur.
Selim Monastery

"The largest Cathedral in Cappadocia; dated back to 8th & 9th Century. While the frescos dated to late 10th & 11th Century. It has a multi-storey structure carved into rocks at a high point. The Cathedral served during the Byzantium period as a significant center for religious activities for Christians"

Finally, after an hour (or more) we arrived at our destination. It was still snowing. For seconds, I kinda hesitated to not or to hop off from the bus. Ikut hati memang mau lepak jak dalam van. Tapi macam bingai & keji jak perangai macam tu. Sudahlah bayar mahal; datang dari jauh pula tu. Baru sejuk sikit pun sudah gave up. And so I got off from the van & joined the other group members. 
# Pastu dapat tahu, rupanya kena mendaki! Cathedral itu nuuuuun jauh di atas sana.
Lagi special dalam aktiviti hiking walk ni; kau kena alert sama group lain. Say like u're on ur way up; u have to be alert of the people going down the hill. Kena rajin bagi signal. Jadinya ndaklah bertembung di tengah jalan nan sempit itu. Because there are only a few 'waiting spots' along the route. Kalau bertembung di area yang tiada tempat untuk menunggu, one of the group kena mengalah & return back to the waiting spot.
# First non-secret mass in Cappadocia was conducted here. 
Selain tempat sembahyang orang Krisitan, Cathedral ni juga jadi pangkalan tentera penting. And juga digunakan as castle. Dulu kala diorang bina parit & benteng di keliling monastery ni untuk pertahanan dari musuh. 
# Well hello there Selime Monastery! Gigih ok I memanjat untuk sampai pi depan kau.
# Arrived.
# Proof! Siaplah salji cair di lens sang kamera.
# Untunglah ada payung.
# Belum jejak Switzerland tapi yang ni bolehlah anggap Swiss-like landscape kan.
# Where the tour vans were parked. 
# Snow-capped hills from afar. 
I entered the cathedral via its the entrance door. Wandered inside a little bit. Looking for the kitchen but to no avail. And ur motive looking for kitchen Ms Err? 
# One of the many sections inside the cathedral.
# Up up I went.

# Tens of rooms connected to each other via those tunnels & passages. 
Didn't spend much time inside as it started to get too cold. After entering few of the tunnels; explored the outside vicinity I descended the hills & headed to the parking lot.
# Imagine the narrow route to reach the monastery.
# Back in the days, this area used for commerce. Caravans frequently arrived here as a result of the bazaar. 
When I arrived at the parking lot, the driver wasn't there. And so did Umar. Saw a souvenir shop near the parking lot & decided to go in. Wanted to use the WC; air adalah sejuk bedi oii! So untuk compensate rasa sejuk I bought a cup of hot tea. Lepak dalam cafe while tunggu the rest finished their tour. We were given less than an hour & I thought that would not be enough. Alas, si Err kalah dengan cuaca. Ndak palah, kegigihan aku mendaki tu berbaloi juga. 

We departed soon after all the tour members entered the van. Umar then told us we're heading to a restaurant for our lunch. He gave us a menu with few selections & asked us to choose what we want. Later he made a phone call to the restaurant confirming our orders. I don't remember what I chose but definitely not meat.

"Now, we go lunch."

Gitu terus semua semangat. Tapi ndak lama sebab lepas tu sorang-sorang tumbang ke medan mimpi. Rasa macam lama lagi mau jejak tempat menjamu perut jadi aku pun join the club. Layan mata!
# Layan view putih salju sekejap sebelum melelap mata.
# Syukur; ni memang dream aku dari dulu. 
Not sure bila kami sampai restoran. Tapi sempat lah juga aku terjaga few times; silau dari pandangan putih di luar. Tapi malas mau buka curtain. Perangai.

Ok nanti aku sambung Part II untuk Green Tour ni. 

But before I end this entry; congrats to Datuk Lee Chong Wei on ur victory! We sure are proud of u. From the very bottom of our heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Silver! 

eryantierdabdulkarim

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