Normally, I’m not a fan of organized tours. I much prefer to find my own way, go where I want, look at the places which interest me and not the tour guide, in short, travel with total independence. However, when I happened upon the advert for this tour, I’m simply couldn’t pass it up, for a variety of reasons.
First: the destination. It’s a four day bus trip to take in no less than 10 places in Cappadocia, then going on to Konya and back to the starting point in Didim on the Aegean Sea where I live. I have been to Cappadocia once before, but only briefly in Ürgüp. Which just wet my appetite to see more of this rather vast area, the land of the ‘beautiful horse’ which is the name the Persians gave Cappadocia. Bizarre formations, cave homes and underground cathedrals, all await further investigation, so this is a great chance.
But, there is another reason why I am so taken with this tour. It will be a chance to experience exclusively Turkish holiday makers on a trip to see their own country. When I was buying a ticket to Eskisehir with my trusted and much loved coach company Kamilkoc, I saw a very small notice taped to the office door. No pictures or logos to attract attention, text in Turkish only! I was just about able to decipher what it was about. I went inside and asked for further information and yes, I could participate in local tourism. Any passing foreigners are unlikely to even notice the ad, leave alone understand it. So, I’ll have the unique chance to become a Turkish tourist as opposed to a Turkey tourist. I’m looking forward to see how they behave on a tour, how they enjoy themselves, what interests them, what they will take pictures off. A great chance to ‘go local’ and to practice my new-found video skills.
None of my friends could come with me at the given date, so I’ll be sharing a hotel room with a – as yet unknown – Turkish lady. That’ll be quite interesting too.
I still have three weeks before I go, so my Turkish books come out to polish up on my language skills, in case nobody speaks English, German or French. Maybe I’ll come back fluent in the language and most certainly with a new insight into the Turkish character. One thing I’m sure off: I won’t feel like an outsider. Turkish friendliness and hospitality are proverbial and I’m sure they will welcome this blond bird of paradise in their midst.