Turkish night was exactly as Jake described it, ridiculous. I liken it to the Medieval Times restaurant experience only with Turkish entertainment. But it was fun, and I'm glad we did it.
Capadoccia is this amazing mixture of old world turkey and a bunch of flukes of nature. About a billion years ago the whole place got covered in volcanic ash, which after another billion years of erosion and land changes the whole place is now covered in these crazy soft rock formations, which about 2000 years ago, Turkish people discovered they could shape the rock to make houses, churches, stables, and whatever else. They built their homes way high up whenever they were threatened, which sounds like it was quite often. There are about 9 valleys that have these amazing rock formations and houses. Jake and I did our very best to see as many of them as we could in our short time. This resulted in some very long walks. In 2 days we hiked a total of 11+ hours. The first day was wonderful, gorgeous weather, and breathtaking scenery. The second day we weren't so lucky. I blame the crappy map we were given, but we managed to get lost for 2-3 hours. No path, no idea where we were, and in the very bright midday sun. It got pretty frustrating. After we had given up ever finding the path into the valleys, and had started for home, we finally managed to stumble across something worthwhile, and did eventually find our way successfully. We found some incredible cave houses built into cliffs that we were free to climb and explore. They went up 3 or four stories into the stone and were all connected to other stone houses, sort of like a giant stone condo complex. We had so much fun climbing and exploring.
We decided it was high time we get a little more info on "The Turkish Table," and took a local cooking class, an idea we stole from another Peace Corps couple traveling through Southeast Asia. Our class was very intimate with just Jake and I, our translator, and our instructor, an old Turkish mother, who was horrified every time we tried to clean anything. She didn't let us do much other than watch her cook, although we did get to sit and stuff the peppers and make little grape leaf spring roll things. They got a pretty big kick out of our sad final products, but they were quick to tell us how much better we were than other beginners. Sure. Then we sat down with the whole family and enjoyed our meal. It was a great experience.
Our next stop is Safronbolu, a preserved Ottoman town known for its gorgeous houses and quaint streets. From there we travel to Istanbul, and after a long weekend in Switzerland, we are headed back to America, and parties, and a move, and weddings, and a whole new life. I think we're both starting to realize our old adventure is over and our new one is about to begin. I hope I can maintain my sanity as I pull together a wedding in less than a month!!