TPJThemeParkJames

ECC Turkey Tour

Day 3: Cappadocia and Mazakaland

Exploring the ancient cave dwellings at Cappadocia and the EOS Rides attractions of Mazakaland...

Monday 17th September 2018

Silk Road

It was an early start as we had another long drive ahead of us. This morning we were heading along the famous ancient Silk Road.

caravanserais

We passed by the remains of several Caravanserais. These were guest houses spaced a day's journey apart, allowing caravans travelling along the Silk Road to rest each night in safety.

Cappadocia

After about four hours we reached Cappadocia, a region known for its Bronze Age cave homes.

Viewpoint

We stopped off at the Aydın Kırağı viewpoint to see the famous "fairy chimney" rock formations.

Photos

There was plenty of time to take photos.

View

It was very picturesque.

Coaches

Once everyone had got all their photos, we moved on to the Göreme Open-Air Museum.

Treasures

There's a set of Treasures of Turkey right there.

Museum

Entering the museum.

Guide

Faruk explained the historical significance of the site.

Caves

The site contains Byzantine cave churches carved into the rock, dating from the 10th century.

Church

Some of the churches were in better condition than others.

Inside

Inside one of the caves.

Goreme Museum

It was interesting to see inside some of the caves, but they all started to feel the same as each other after a while and the museum didn't do a particularly good job of helping visitors interpret what they were seeing. It definitely felt that we'd spent enough time there when it was time to leave!

Camel

Even the camel seemed to have had enough.

Mountain

More spectacular scenery, and an hour and a half drive to our next destination.

Narrow

There were times we had to question exactly where we were going ... Yes, the coaches did drive down here!

Mazakaland

Finally we arrived at Mazakaland, a theme park only 200 miles or so from the Syrian border. Of course we were completely safe, but it was interesting to contemplate just how close we were to Aleppo and an active war zone!

Spin Coaster

The park is kitted out with attractions from EOS Rides. Most of the group headed first to Spin Coaster, which looked from the outside like a gentle family spinning coaster. There had to be a bit of negotiation between the ride ops and the park manager, as apparently adults are not usually allowed to ride.

Smiles

It was all smiles as the first group left the lift hill ...

Brace

... the smiles soon disappeared as everyone realised just how much of a head basher the ride was, especially with the overhead restraints!

Cheetah Hunt

After enduring a bashing on Spin Coaster we headed to Mazakaland's other rollercoaster, Cheetah Hunt.

Corner

In comparison, Cheetah Hunt was much more pleasant, although it seemed to lose most of its momentum soon after the first drop.

Hill

Fun ride though!

Wheel

Venturing further into the park, we came to Mazakaland's big wheel "Dönme Dolap".

View

From the top we got a good view of the park ... it was clear to see we were almost the only visitors!

Wheel

Any hope of a few minutes peace and quiet vanished for David and Susan when they realised we were here too.

Colosseum

We spied the park's recreation of the Colosseum from the top of the wheel.

Colosseum

It turned out to be the very impressive fascade of the park's Ancient Rome themed dark ride.

Colosseum

Seems like we weren't the only people in the group to have spotted the giant building.

Colosseum

Boarded and ready to ride ... it took ages for each car to be allowed inside.

Roman

Looks like this guy had been waiting to ride even longer than us.

Colosseum

Perhaps the impressive ride building had given us slightly unrealistic expectations for the ride itself.

Go Karts

Several of the group took a spin around Mazakaland's new two-level go kart track.

Venue

We took a look inside the park's giant indoor venue.

Venue

There were a selection of shops and food places, but most were closed that day.

Staff

The staff at the refreshments kiosk were wonderfully friendly, and keen to have their photo taken.

Exit

After enjoying burgers provided by the park, it was time to leave.

Sunset

Following another four hour drive, we arrived at our hotel in Ankara (imaginatively called The Ankara Hotel) at around 10:30pm.