The components of a perfect day:
- Good food
- Warm weather
At breakfast (a pancake-like item that Serinn House makes to order) I tell Eren about the necklaces I spied in a small shop on Gulluce Caddesi (street).
“Never pay more than 95 Turkish Lira (TRY) for silver!” instructs Eren. She tells me that the shopkeepers buy it by the kilo and that they expect you to negotiate. I’m not that good at negotiating.
I can’t choose between the necklaces. The shopkeeper polishes my favorite four, helps me to try them on, compliments me on the look. I narrow it down to the one with blue and gold accents.
“195 TRY,” says the shopkeeper.
“150 TRY,” I reply.
“195 TRY. It is a good price. Discounted just for you.”
I produce a credit card and the shopkeeper asks that I pay 185 TRY with my card and 10 TRY in cash. Whatever. He rings-up the necklace for 185 TRY and pockets the remaining 10.
“My tip,” he explains.
URGUP SEHIR HAMAMI
I can’t believe it’s 90 degrees out and I’m going to a sauna.
Urgup Sehir Hamami (the city turkish bath), a domed century-old building situated in the center of town, is difficult to miss.
Inside, I’m instructed to undress (I’ve brought my swimsuit) in one of the changing rooms and my belongings are locked in a locker.
Wrapped in a towel, I’m escorted to the bath area, a large common space surrounded by smaller shower rooms. An octagonal slab bathed in light from a glass dome overhead dominates the area. I lie here on my back, roasting slowly. So far it’s more pleasant than my only other hammam experience in Essaouira, Morocco, where I laid in the dark on a concrete floor until a girthy woman clad only in a prodigious brassiere and tighty whities snuck up behind me, poured a bucket of water on my head, then scrubbed me down like a bad potato.
I’m happy to see that my tellak (masseur) here is a young, attractive Turkish man. He leads me into a private room where he lathers, loofahs and rinses me, then applies a pressure point massage that’s therapeutic almost — but not quite — to the verge of being painful. Eren had warned me that, although her male guests love the hammam, it’s too much for some of her female guests, but I feel great. My skin is soft and my muscles weak.
I slouch my way back through Urgup to Serinn House.
Post-nap (awoken by the Call to Prayer), I cut through the Urgup alleyways and arrive at Ziggy Cafe, a 10-minute walk from Serinn House.
Ziggy Cafe, a restaurant and store located a restored stone house, came highly recommended by my sister, other bloggers and travel guides. I like the relaxed vibe, stylish decor and terrace view of the rocky Cappadocia landscape, so I’ve returned for my second dinner since arriving in Urgup.
Tonight I order olives, the ubiquitous Turkey eggplant and — of course — two glasses of white wine.
I watch Ziggy, the terrier after which the establishment was named, dart across the street and jump onto the wall on the opposite side. A server unsuccessfully calls him back home. The couple and their daughter from Singapore with whom I shared a van and balloon ride are seated next to me, and we share photos on our phones. The gracious owner, Nuray, stops by to check on me and chat.
A pretty perfect day spent in Urgup.