After dropping off AG at the bus terminal (he was not continuing the rest of the journey with us) we headed on the long ride to Cappadocia). A few hours into our journey we decided to take a break for lunch and followed a rather plain sign off the road that said “Restaurant” and nothing more. Since all of the meals we had thus far were phenomenal, we had not doubts that we were in for a treat…until we started to journey down the narrow, cliff side road that was meant for two-way traffic, but could not possibly hold another vehicle next to ours.
It seemed that a recent storm ravaged the river bank, spotting it with trash for over a kilometer. IP was starting to get nervous about the drive and at times seems like he wanted to go back. We were starting to get nervous too until we spotted the restaurant. The van was not able to make it all the way to the bridge we had to cross to get there, so we kept it up top to avoid any future woes. It was like a ghost town on the opposite bank and we wondered if there was anyone there to serve us. Turns out the woodworker/restaurateur was here and through a mix of French, German (for some reason lots of Turks know German), English and the few Turkish words we knew, we were able to communicate.
The others had fish caught fresh from the river outside the restaurant. It was amazing to see the whole cooking process. We also got some more of that amazing bread, fried potatoes and a cucumber and tomato salad. Everything was as imagine, amazing and far exceeding our expectations. The ambiance was like being in a fairy tale with several wooden bridges, one of which my foot well through, a beautiful water-mill, rushing water and serene calmness.We left thinking what great luck we had finding another gem like this!
We continued on our journey until we needed another break and stopped at a cafe for some turkish coffee, there we also tried bread with a honey comb and clotted cream. It was amazing and something I never would have had otherwise. CD practiced his turkish works on the locals, leading to a load of hearty belly laughs from all of us. They were so happy to see visitors. Man, I just love Turkish people!
We had originally planned to get all the way to Cappadocia in one shot, but with our stopping it wasn’t possible. We decide to stay in Aksaray, a very eerie town with a certain unappealing smell to it, for the night. On the way out of our hotel, my foot slipped on our winding marble staircase and I went crashing down, falling down the stairs until I could stop myself by grabbing the banister. I ended up with a huge bruise on my bum and leg for the next few days from it. (Third fall of the trip!)
After composing myself, we went out to find food nearby and ran into some local college students, a couple, who wanted to meet foreigners. I was very wary of them, thinking they wanted money or something from us, after reading too many guide-book warnings but the others were more adventurous. They ended up taking us to dinner, watching while we ate, but having nothing, trying to take us to a bar, but it was closed and just walking around with us all night. Overall it was strange, but funny. I didn’t notice but the guy had 5 fingers and no thumb, freaky. I wish I had a picture to share. No wonder the handshake was so weird. It was an interesting end to the day.