Cappadocia is in Göreme, not Nevşehir.
11.08.2012 - 02.09.2012
From Nevşehir to Göreme, August 29th 2012
I am truly grateful for a blog post I read somewhere and I am so sorry I don't remember where it was. Otherwise I could have shared the link here. In that post it was mentioned to make sure to get to Göreme if one wanted to visit Cappadocia. That had been a very helpful information for me. Thus, I would like to share the same thing, in case this can also be a kind of help to anyone wanting to visit Cappadocia.
When I booked a bus with Suha Turism, I made it clear that my destination was Goreme. Then that morning, when my bus stopped at a big bus terminal where many passengers got off and carried their luggage, I got confused. Is this it, Goreme? Suspecting that Cappadocia must be a favorite tourist spot, many are likely to get off there. Nevertheless, through the window, everywhere I looked, I could find no sign which indicated I was in Goreme.
My handsome bus attendant read my bewilderment. "Goreme," he said while shaking his head. With his hands he gestured me to stay.
Oh, okay. You see, it's not Goreme yet, I told myself.
But a few minutes later a guy got up the bus. He spoke to my bus attendant and then came to me, in English.
"Are you going to Cappadocia?"
"Yes, I am."
"It's here. Have you booked a hotel?"
"Yes, I have."
"Where is your hotel?"
I gave him my piece of paper with Kemal's Guest House's address written on it.
He read and asked again, "You need to book this guest house first."
"You must check whether it's fully occupied or not."
"But I have already reserved a room by email. The owner herself guaranteed my reservation!"
"Okay, come with me! I'll bring you there."
"But... I've already paid the fare up to Goreme."
"It's the same. This bus doesn't go to Goreme. You have to get off here and change with another car."
"But... I have paid for Goreme," I insisted.
"Hey, I'm helping you. You have to change with another car that goes to Goreme. It's included in the bus service. Come on, come with me!"
"So the car is free? I don't need to pay?"
"It's free! I said I'm helping you to get to Goreme."
I began to believe this guy. I put back my backpack on. As I walked down the bus, I could see the bewilderment, now on the bus attendant's face. I noticed the other passengers looking at me. Something's not right, I sensed.
I was ushered to an office inside the terminal. The guy said that the car would leave in ten minutes. He told me to sit inside the office. Besides me, there were a bunch of Mongolian looking tourists having tea in front of the office. And then the guy left.
I scanned the room. It was a travel agency. Anything like 'Suha Turism' was to be found there. If this car service to Goreme is included in my bus fare from Suha Turism, I thought, why am I waiting not at Suha Turism's office? Isn't that weird? Furthermore, how could one be so kind just helping taking me to a hotel I've already booked without receiving anything in return?
I got up. "Where are you going?" the other guy inside the office asked.
"I need to go to the toilet," I answered.
"Just leave your things here."
"It's alright. I can take them with me."
I walked to Suha Turism's office. "Excuse me, I want to confirm my ticket." I spread my ticket open on the counter. It was clearly written there "Goreme".
The office staff looked nervous when he heard me speaking English. He pulled his friend's arm.
I pointed on the word 'Goreme' on my ticket. "Is it here?"
He didn't answer yes or no, but pointed outside where my bus was still parking.
"You mean that bus goes to Goreme?"
He pushed his body forward and pointed harder towards that direction, which was definitely the opposite direction of where I had been told to wait for a car to bring me to Goreme.
"Why was I told to get off here and take a car?"
He got out off the counter, walked ahead of me a few steps and once again pointed at my bus.
So, I walked back to the bus. When I got on, the handsome bus attendant's look was kind of sorry. He gestured his right arm to the seat where I had been sitting. "Goreme", he said.
I couldn't help realizing the other passengers where looking at me with a look more unexplainable.
Suddenly I saw the first Suha Turism staff I had been talked to at the office, running towards my bus. He got up and when he saw me, he kind froze in place and sighed deeply. I could see his chest moving up and then down. Without a word, he got off.
Nevertheless, my bewilderment didn't end there. Besides booking a room, I already booked a tour with Barbara. She said that the tour would leave at 9:30 from her guesthouse. It was already nine and my bus didn't show any signs of moving on. The driver's seat was even empty!
I had accepted Barbara's offer of taking a tour, because I saw that the price she gave was pretty reasonable compared to other tour packages I found on the internet. What if I miss this tour? Even if I could book a tour from somewhere else with a higher price, booking on D-Day in such a high-season in the very last minute, seemed absolutely hopeless. If that happens, I would lose one day of Cappadocia. That cannot be! Moreover, I felt bad if I had to miss this tour, because Barbara didn't require any deposit for the bookings I made with her. "Reservations are based on mutual trust," she wrote in her email. I simply cannot break that.
Has that guy from the travel agency left? I began to wonder. Had I joined him, maybe I could have arrive earlier in Goreme. Or was he actually sincere?
Through the window, I looked around. Barbara said that her guesthouse was just within a walking distance from the bus stop and I just need to follow the sign. I couldn't find any sign. I mean, any. Of other hotels, or other guesthouses. This huge bus terminal seemed to be standing in the middle of nowhere. Whereas according to my internet research, there is a bunch of accommodation in Goreme. A bunch? As far as I could see were only mountains. So this mustn't be Goreme yet.
I regretted not buying a SIM Card in Istanbul. Reluctantly, I grabbed for my cellphone and made a call to Kemal's Guest House using my Indonesian SIM Card.
Eventually... I arrived in Goreme. Now, it does look like something. Busy and touristic. Kemal's Guest House, where is it? Ah, Tourist Information! A friendly guy showed me the direction. He nodded instantly when I said "Kemal's Guest House".
"Is it far from here? Is there a taxi?" I asked.
"No taxi. No, it isn't far."
"About 200 meters."
"Come in! You can put your bag here, and then put it in the room after you return from the tour. Your room is not ready yet."
Of course I understood it wasn't check in time. But why did she seemed so calm? Has my tour already left?
"Your tour's driver is still picking up guests. Come on, sit down. Have breakfast first!"
I told you, in Turkey I'm hungry every two hours. Hence, I grabbed one bread after another from the basket.
"Would you like tea or coffee?" asked a young man.
"Coffee, please." And... the coffee was so good!
When I couldn't take anymore of the bread, Barbara asked, "Maybe you would like to use the toilet before you leave? It's over there."
Ooops! Someone didn't flush! Ooops! But the flush isn't working. Ah... never mind! Haven't you been on the worst toilet already? Even this, would have been a luxury.
"Are you ready?"
"Yeah, yeah, I am!"
A man whom I noticed had been sitting in the dining room as I had my breakfast immediately stood up.
"Oh!" I was shocked. I thought the driver had been picking up others guests. So all the time I had been keeping him waiting! I ran inside the house to grab for my camera backpack.
"What a huge thing!" Barbara commented. "Are you sure you are going to need all that?"
I had no time to explain.
In the evening, I told Barbara what had happened in Nevsehir.
"Oh so that what had hold you on?" Barbara replied.
"Not exactly. Even if I had stayed all the time on the bus, I would still be late for the tour, because the bus stopped very long at the terminal. But on the other hand it was a lucky thing that I could get back on the same bus after being distracted to that travel agency."
"It was a smart thing of you to call," Barbara continued. "Someone called us and said that you have booked the tour from their agency."
"Ah! That must be from the travel agency in Nevsehir Terminal. They knew I was staying here because they asked me whether I had made any reservation."
"No, no. That call was two days ago. And that guy on the phone mentioned your name clearly. I remember, because your name is unique."
"Oh! They mentioned my name? How could they know I was staying here??"
"I don't know."
Honestly, that information sent a creepy scary feeling inside me. Is someone spying on me?? It's weird that someone knows exactly that I'm staying at Kemal's.
But the next few days, it came up to my memory that a few months before leaving for Turkey, I had gotten in contact with a travel agent I found through the internet. I was about to buy my bus tickets and tours from him. I told him I was going to stay at Kemal's Guest House so that he would know where to pick me up. But during the process, several things happened that made me feel uncertain. First, he said he couldn't book a ferry ticket for me. I would have to come to his office in Istanbul to get the ferry ticket. I thought that was weird, because in Ido's website, the price for August was already up and possible to book online. The other thing, he required me to sign an authorization letter for payment, plus a copy the back of my credit card. In the past I had already taken this payment method in Vietnam. Also once in China. However, this time, something in me refused to do it. In short, the deal was canceled.
I suspect it must have been him who called Barbara.
Barbara said that she insisted with that guy on the phone that she cannot cancel my tour booking, because I never sent any message like that to her. "Although I thought, you have your right to book a tour with anyone. So when you didn't show up this morning, I thought you really had booked the tour with someone else. Luckily you called."
"Thank you so much, Barbara, for saving the tour for me. You even let me have breakfast. I didn't know that man was waiting for me. You didn't tell me."
"Hahaha. I told him, let my guest have breakfast and don't bother her. She has been on a long journey."
Although my room rate was including one breakfast only (for the next day), Barbara refused to be paid for that breakfast in the hectic morning. "That was not a meal. You were eating in such a hurry. Tomorrow you'll get a full breakfast."
Ah... did she count how many bread I had taken?
I cannot thing of any better place to stay in Cappadocia.