Friday, September 12, 2008


Once upon a time with a good friend of mine, we created lists of things that we wanted to do. Some things were random like... buying a new camera or going for a drive down the Great Ocean Road.... I think we even had strawberry picking which we did together... and I'm not sure whether this was on that particular list or if this was on a new list but I wanted to go hot air ballooning. What better chance to go hot air ballooning then in Cappadocia in Turkey! Apparently this is meant to be the 2nd best spot in the world. The best spot is meant to be somewhere in France.

Anyways, up we get at 5.30am and head down to the ballooning site where they are preparing our balloons. Coffee, tea and cakes are there for us to munch on whilst we wait but it's too early for sweet stuff so I hop around taking photos of the balloons being inflated. I was really excited. Our balloons were ready and 20 people can fit in each balloon. The way the baskets are set up, they are spilt into four sections with five people in each section. There is a section in the middle for the pilot with two sections on either side of him. To get into the basket you have to climb in and stupidly I wore thongs (flip flops, sandals, whatever) which kept trying to slip off. Interesting times. I thought that it'd be a little bit more exciting than it actually was. We just floated up into the sky gently and stayed quite close to the ground although we did go up quite high a few times which made my legs feel a little bit weak and I grasped onto the rails just that little bit tighter - because of course, grabbing onto the rails tighter would totally help me if the balloon actually fell... Funny how small things make you feel more secure even though in reality it would do nothing to help you. 

The flight was around 1 hour and the view was spectacular. I will upload a video when I get a chance and you will see what I'm talking about! 

Cappadocia is such a cool place because there are so many rock formations thanks to volcanic activity (once again, tuned out to tour guides loooong monologue so only have a vague idea) but a long time ago people carved into the rock and created man-made caves. They lived in these caves until around the 60s when I'm pretty sure they were forced out. We went to an open air museum where we could walk around the caves and see how they used to live. It would have taken them ages to carve out the rocks. They had made stairs in the rocks and also foot-holes so they could climb up to other levels. 

We also went to an underground city which has a similar idea to that of the mountain caves except this was underground! Now, this was spectacular. They had dug up to 35m underground and set up life underground. They only used the underground system during the winter months and in summer they lived on land and worked on the farms to provide the food for the winter. According to the Turkish, there are around 36 discovered underground cities but there are expected to be 200 in total. Some of them are obviously destroyed and have been caved in but the one that we saw was really well preserved. The way they set up the ventilation shafts and used them also as a well is just sheer brilliance. Very clever people, but seriously, I don't know why they just couldn't have lived on land and just made a fire instead of spending all this time digging 35m underground... It was so cold too - very chilly. Claustrophobic too. The tunnels were steep and very narrow in some points which was to stop the enemy from gaining easy access to their city. 

Its only been two days and I am already struggling to think of what we did in Cappadocia. Today we went to the Ihlara Valley and went on a baby hike down the canyon. It was gorgeous. Huge canyons on either side of me and in the middle were gorgeous trees and a stream running through it. Very pretty. We saw a turtle and he came out of the water before getting scared by the 15 of us surrounding him so he scurried back into the water. Lunch was spent sitting on the stream - literally. There had been mini platforms built over the water and we could sit on them. The only problem was the wasps. I hate bugs and creepy crawlies so everytime one came near me I let out a mini shriek... only when they came and landed right beside me. I think I squealed twice. Yes, I know it is childish and they are just bugs and I won't die if I got stung but I still don't like the thought of that happening and I don't know if I am allergic so yes, I am scared. Anyways, one of the older guys on the tour, I think he is 55-56, told me off. When I squealed the very first time he said to me in a dad-like voice 'SIMONE. SETTLE. DOWN' and I told him I don't like the wasps. He replied that they wouldn't hurt me and then another one came near me, I didn't shriek but I was moving and obviously trying to make the wasp disappear and he shouted at me again. I felt ridiculously like a child and felt annoyed that he was speaking to me like that. Sure, it may not have been very adult-like to be scared of a wasp and I never said that it was a 'mature' reaction but nevertheless, I bet he would not have spoken like that to one of the other older people on the tour if they had reacted in such a way and I think that is what annoyed me the most. 

I just don't have the patience for the people on this tour. I am tired of touring and spending time in hotels. Don't get me wrong, I have loved every minute but there comes a point when I have reached my tolerance level and I think I hit that point a week ago. I don't want to have someone come into the room and try to talk to me about pointless shit every night or to knock on the bathroom door after I've been in there barely a minute to ask how long I'm going to be or all the other annoying shit that room sharing brings. Once again, this just comes down to tolerance levels and I've lost patience. 

I'm also feeling really unsure about things at the moment. I think that's just because I'm tired and finding it hard to focus. I resigned from my job at CSC and I feel relieved but now I am thinking about teaching in Canada which totally contradicts EVERYTHING I have ever said about Canada and even in general. I still don't know what I want and sometimes I think that at 24 I should know exactly what I want. It seems like everyone else knows and I am stuck in some limbo land still trying to figure it out. Whatever 'it' is. I know that isn't true and it's only been the last two days I've felt like this and I think it is also partly because I have let a few comments that people have made get under my skin even though they are nothing comments.

On a final note, there is this stupid fly buzzing around the hotel room and I can't catch it and it is really bugging me... pardon the pun. How many days does it take flies to die cos this one has been in here for 2 days now! Ugh!


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