The Beauty of Cappadocia, Turkey

cappadocia IMG_6614

Where to even begin? When I look back at these photos from our trip to Cappadocia, I have a difficult time believing that I was there. We stayed at the Museum Hotel in a beautiful cave room with nooks and small windows. It was so dreamy.

Cappadocia’s unusual landscape is the result of various kinds of stone being worn away by the wind at different rates. The artistic shapes that natural elements can create is unreal! This region in Turkey has a long history and the underground cities which were carved out of rock served as a sanctuary for early Christians and later as a sacred space for Muslims.

As I get older, I am more interested in doing things that at one time scared me. It’s funny how our sense of fear changes as we age. I’ve been on a hot air balloon before, but never in a place so far from home. While we were in Cappadocia, we awoke one morning at 4am to see the sun rise from high above. The views were so incredible and we were able to weave in and out of the fairy chimneys. There are so many hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia – it’s the thing to do! We went with Butterfly Balloons after reading all the great reviews. It is not cheap, but I’d highly recommend it!

cappadocia IMG_6387

A good friend of mine was also in Cappadocia with her boyfriend while we were there. It was so neat to catch up with friends so far from home. It is truly such a small world!

cappadocia

A few tips that will help if you are planning to visit Cappadocia:

Stay in a cave! Where else can you choose from dozens of cave hotels? Unless you are claustrophobic (in which case, I’d suggest not staying in a cave – they are often small with low ceilings), I’d highly recommend staying at a cave hotel. It is such a unique experience!

Rent a car. We rented a car throughout Turkey, and the driving was totally worthwhile. You are able to see so many interesting places that are off the grid (and that you simply stumble upon) when you have your own wheels. Plus, getting lost in foreign countries can be an incredible adventure. One evening on our way to dinner, we got so lost. Like really, really lost. Our friend, Ben, said “hey, everyone, get out of the car.” We did and for a moment, just realized how incredibly unbelievable it was that we were in this gorgeous, untouched place. There we were, lost amidst these incredible limestone structures in the pitch black. It was such a beautiful moment.

Take a hot air balloon ride. I was a bit on the fence, to be honest. It can be super expensive, and I wasn’t sure it would be worthwhile. Looking back, I am so glad that we splurged and went for a hot air balloon ride. If you are ever going to do one, Cappadocia is the place! I’ll never forget that morning when we weaved in and out of the fairy chimneys.

Places you must visit: Don’t leave Cappadocia without visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Castle, and eating at some delicious, local restaurants. I’ve also heard great things about the underground cities, but we didn’t have the opportunity to visit.

Sit back and enjoy the beauty of it all. Our hotel sat atop a cliff in Uchisar. It was a beautiful village and although it is hard to single out my favorite part of our hotel, the views were definitely at the top of the list. Many afternoons, we would sit by the pool with nargile and just be in awe of the view. At breakfast each morning, we would be serenaded by the singing birds and often saw peacocks and baby turtles on our way back to our room. The wildlife and scenery is just unreal – be sure you take time to just enjoy it.

Whatever you end up doing, you’ll have an incredible time. It is pretty impossible not to!

Image credit: Natalie Chassaigne Kurtzman

no comment