Kayseri airport is virtually empty when you arrive. There is one member of staff sitting amongst the impressively large collection of suitcases in the lost property office, and three security guards checking tickets at the door.
“How are we getting to the hostel?” Your friend asks. You both make your way to the front of the airport and watch as everyone around you gets into taxis.
“I don’t know actually. We could do the princess thing I suppose.”
“Wait for someone to help us.”
Sure enough, a man comes along after only a few minutes.
You take a moment to work out what that number is in English.
“Yeah all right,” you say. You sling your bags into the back of the minibus and spend the rest of the journey in a mild state of anxiety. The driver chats animatedly on his phone while the minibus roars past dead farmland and the upturned wreckage of past accidents- but fortunately it was not your day to die, and you arrive safely at your hostel an hour later.
The next morning you set off with a map that is both incorrectly scaled and scribbled on by the owner of your hostel. Detailed topographic maps are only available to the army in Turkey so you’re just going to have to manage. Also in your bag is a mobile phone with enough credit to give you about 2 minutes of conversation and several packets of Turkish biscuits.
In terms of navigational aids, you had been taught how to find north using the hands of a watch a few years ago. Unfortunately, the only watch you had was a digital one, and you also couldn’t actually remember what you had been taught.
Despite these potential setbacks, you fail to get even the slightest bit lost.
You find the Open Air Museum by mistake and explore the cave houses for a while (the church may be worth seeing, but there are plenty of well-preserved caves just a few hundred metres from the museum entrance).
Then you make your way down into Kiliçlar Vadisi (or Swords Valley), which you hope will lead you back in the direction of Göreme. A group of Turkish boys leap between the rocks 30 feet above you. Their laughter echoes a long way into the valley.
You pop up in a very convenient spot at the end of the valley. Göreme village is across the highway to your left, and the Rose Valley is on your right.
“How did we manage that?”
“No idea.” Your friend responds, equally mystified.