May 14:  Ankara to Cappadocia

I was so excited about Turkey that I woke up at 6am on my own!  Alarm wasn't set till 7:45am.  Left 9am.

We visited the Atatürk mausoleum and the surprisingly huge underground museum showing off Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Turkey's founder and first president) and Turkey's independence and modernization.  We were there till 11am.  More pouring rain.

The road to the mausoleum is designed to to trip you up and make you look down in faux reverence.

Closest thing Turkey has to a changing of the guard.



Atatürk's tomb.

Mausoleum courtyard and the city.

On the way out of Ankara at a rest stop I had pide, a kind of Turkish pizza.  The 4 strips were huge surfacewise but thin enough that I got them all down.  Very good.

We also stopped at Tuz Gölü, one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world.  Upon arrival the salt people put gobs of salt in our hands and made us rub them.  My hands stayed oily for a while.  There's no oil in salt!  What was that stuff?  I had girl hands for the next hour.

Salt lake.

I picked up some of these salt crystals and nibbled on them.  The salt made me thirsty.  Nothing like that salty ham, though.

In the parking lot outside the salt palace we all had Turkish cotton candy.  Michelle said it tasted nutty.  I wanted no more cotton candy after that.

More irritating chatting and monologues in the back row of the bus.  Stop it!  Ibo took a poll regarding the balloon ride.  There was some talk on the message board about it in light of the Egypt incident a couple months ago.  Five people had prebooked the balloon ride, but on a show of hands everyone wanted to go.

Arrived 5:10pm at the Çiner Hotel in Göreme, the only place we'd be staying more than one night (three nights here).  Oh yeah, according to Ibo, Ç (pronounced ch) is "C with a thing" and Ş (pronounced sh) is "S with a thing".  Anyway, Cappadocia is supposed to be the highlight of the tour.  The ride in past the fairy chimneys was impressive.  I had a date a while ago with a girl who lived there for a year and said it was her favorite place on earth, so I was intrigued.  Not by her, though.  She was fat.  No more "average" body types on OkCupid.  She did graduate from Harvard Law with David Otunga, but that didn't make up for the size and age, and the fact that most of what I said went over her head.  That was before I changed my target demographic on OkC.

My hotel room.  The couch was a nice touch.  I paid for my own room throughout the tour and the 2nd bed was a constant reminder of my undatability.  There was mooing outside my window.

Five or six people went to a Turkish bath.  I heard there was a lot of slapping, which gave me a vision of this, so I did not want to go at all.  I drank in the hotel lobby.  Another tour group was there (unknown if they were G) and there were some young'uns.  I finally checked my e-mail via mail2web.  My dad and my brother expressed concern about the incident on the Syria border and wanted me to check in from time to time.  I would have pointed out that they're closer to Boston than I am to Syria, but I didn't have the energy (to point it out or to look at a map to confirm the distance).

Word began to spread that Dave's bag was stolen from his room.  Some people were advising him to cancel his credit cards ASAP.  They looked foolish when William of Ockham ultimately found the bag in the wrong room.

We had dinner at a local family's house.  Minced meat in eggplant skins and baclava after.  My standup came up again...Michelle said her favorite bit among the ones she saw was Ruby.  That was a pivotal bit in my early stages and there's something I need to recapture there.

Hung out at the hotel bar from 11pm to 1:30am with the usuals.  Andy and I closed it out.  He saw Risky Betts perform on a cruise ship once.  I had 3 beers at the bar before bed.