In the depth of Cappadocia

This is the second part of my last trip to Turkey. Make sure you take a look at LOST IN CONSTANTINOPLE

 

decisions decision

 

Visiting Turkey’s most famous city on the globe,Istanbul, sounded cool but also too mainstream.  I am fond of the well known historical and cultural attractions, but I felt like going somewhere with less spotlight, less tourists and less city life.My trip was in December so that was physically and mentally challenging, especially to plan what to do when you can have your whole trip ruined by the rough weather, but then again, what’s more interesting than doing an unexpected adventure prior the new year. Let’s be honest here, I wanted to start my year in a special place with special people, and i got exactly what i wanted. An adventure in the pottery workshop of planet earth with a dear friend from France. Cappadocia was the destination and I had no idea what to expect from the place other than pictures and outdated feedbacks from visitors. The region was in the shade and since it was not too far from Syrian borders, i thought it would be better if I don’t bring along my camping kit.

 

Getting there

 

To reach the region you have to take a one hour and a half flight (65TL) or a 10 hour bus drive (63TL) from Istanbul to Kayseri. You’d better book a shuttle with your hotel (25TL) to drive you there because it’s approximately a one hour drive from the airport and there is no buses or metros available.

Cappadocia is a region composed of multiple provinces such as  Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, and Niğde. I stayed close to the Nevshire province in a small town called Gorome.

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The first thing that caught my attention were the fairy chimneys. I have never seen something similar , it looked like really huge mushrooms in the middle of nowhere. The cave houses and the naturally designed valleys around the town made it look like the yard of a pottery artist.

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I couldn’t stay at the hotel , I had no jet lag despite the fact that I just had more than a 5 hour flight in total, I had to start discovering the place I’m in. It was 8 PM, -3 degrees and snowing like a lot. But I was so excited I didn’t even mind the cold breeze nor the slippery sidewalks.

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Yes, I had no cellular service so I had to get a Turkish Sim card the next day and guess what I got offered.. Help and more free Turkish Tea ,yéy 😀

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Nothing but love and inner peace

 

The second thing that I noticed was how nice people were. They were so nice and kind that I sometimes felt no worthy of being treated that way. Everyone was offering help and recommending places and activities. People were eager to know tourists and their culture , they were tolerant and open. They would never let you go back home without the urge of thinking of coming back again.

There, I met a wonderful person that really inspired me with the goodness in her. She is an English teacher, a beautiful single mother to the cutest little girl I have ever seen and a great friend who still stands by me to this day. She took me everywhere and showed me the true hidden beauty of Cappadocia , that’s all i wanted to do , see the region through the eyes of locals and it was way much more than i ever expected.

Where to go

There are three main tours you should do, the Red,Green and the Blue tour. Check tour companies such as Rock Valley.These tours pretty much cover everything you need to see in Cappadocia and they’re not that expensive. They offer transportation and food, so you won’t be spending nothing but some bucks on souvenirs.

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In Goreme

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Goreme Open aır museum
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Dark church
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Goreme viewpoint

 

In Uchisar

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Uchisar castle (taken by GrailK)
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Uchisar castle (taken by GrailK)

In Avanos

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Avanos Oren Yeri

 

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In Ugrup

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In Aksaray

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Ihlara valley
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Ihlara valley ( taken by GrailK)

 

In Kayseri

Mount Erciyes is a must see if you’re in for a good day to ski.

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Mount Erciyes (taken by GrailK)

Stitched Panorama

 

If you want to do a “do it yourself tour”, then you should follow almost the same map with more planning when it comes to transportation. Doing this will obviously cost you more money, but trust me, it’s totally worth it, especially when you’re there with friends or someone special.

I personally prefer to do my own tour because first, I don’t like crowds. I also want to take my time wherever I go, i’m not really the take a pic and go type of person. I like to deviate my plan whenever I find a more interesting destination because I’m not really into commitment to one plan and I always love to see more.

Renting a car is really easy and cheap (100TL a day.You don’t need an international driving permit.

That way you can a lot in one day.

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On the road to Ihlara valley (take by GrailK)

Rent an ATV and cruise the valleys for a hands on experience. You will be accompanied by a guide so you won’t be lost and you’ll totally understand what you’re seeing. An ATV tour will take an hour and will cost 50 TL per person, 75 TL if you are two and want to share the ride. I would recommend cappadocia redline ATV tours for the guys were really nice, they invited us for tea and made us a video with their action camera during the ride.

I missed the Balloon ride (80 euros) due to an unanticipated budget problem, but I highly recommend it. It’s completely safe and probably the funniest part of the trip. Did I mention that they give you a medal and they pop champagne when you land? oh yes, they do.

 

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What to expect

Much more than what you set your bars to.

 

Food

When it comes to food, it’s pretty much the same dishes you’d find in Istanbul, but way cheaper and made with a little more love.

You can easily make friends in Cappadocia, if you’re in Goreme,you should swing by my friend Mustafa in My Mother’s restaurant, taste his delicious Turkish dishes and enjoy his company.

 

 

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Cappadocia is a really mesmerizing piece of natural art with breathtaking landscapes and one of the kindest people that I have ever met.

Absolutely a lifetime experience with this one.

 

#BeyondandAway

 

 

 

 

 

 

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