-by Nausherwan Aziz
On 11th and 12th of March, Bilkent International House hosted a quick getaway to Kapadokya in collaboration with Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Bilkent. The trip was extremely thorough in terms of the number of sites that all those who were in the group managed to see in the short duration of the trip. It was also an extremely enjoyable holiday, the highlight of it definitely being the memorable and riveting Turkish night.
The trip started with a quick stop at the beautiful Salt Lake for breakfast, which was then followed by a guided tour of the mesmerising Kaymaklı underground city in Nevşehir. After the tour of the underground city, there was lunch at the famous Uranos restaurant, which served a scrumptious four course meal within a charming atmosphere with beautiful live music, which was perfect to tie the whole package together. After the lunch, we proceeded towards the hotel for some much needed R&R and catch some Z’s. After resting for a while, the entourage moved towards Yaşar Baba Restaurant for the Turkish night, which was full of incredible food, brilliant Turkish cultural medleys, and traditional dances and performances. The night lasted until 11 but the buzz created by it carried on until much later.
The next morning we began a guided tour of the city which started with the colourful and enchanting Pigeon Valley. After taking a few photos the next stop was close to the Uçhisar Castle, which was another fantastic place to buy souvenirs and take breath-taking photos, while also managing to take in some of the roaring wind that was blowing around that area. The trip then proceeded towards the Open Air Museum in Göreme, which had picturesque, boutique sized churches made within caves and some underground structures.
These paintings despite being thousands of years old, held a great charm and gave deep insight into the religious customs of Christianity in that era (some of the caves even had skeletons from ancient graves). After the Churches, everyone proceeded to Han Restaurant for a delicious lunch with a wide variety of dishes being served at the buffet. The last two stops for the trip was a pottery shop where the pottery maker, using an archaic kick wheel technique, produced magnificent pieces of pottery which were part of a 200 year old family tradition, and Turasan winery that is famous in the region, where our group had the great pleasure of tasting different wines.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and this trip was sadly not an exception to this rule. The two enthralling days no doubt created memories that all those who were on the trip will cherish forever.