Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Turkey - Cappadocia

Last year around October I traveled to Turkey for the first time. Yes, this is a long overdue post, but I'm still going to write it anyway because Cappadocia is just plainly awesome and if you like to travel, this is a definite must-go destination. We first flew to Istanbul, and then took another flight to Kayseri before a 2-hour car drive to our hotel.

Cappadocia is in the middle of Anatolian region in Turkey and, unlike any other places I've visited, Cappadocia has a truly unique landscape that it's not strange to think that this city had been terraformed by aliens. If Antoni Gaudi's works are the description of bizarre man-made beauty, this place is the description of bizarre nature awesomeness.

The photo below, by the way, is a city centre.

You can climb up and see what's inside, but the holes seemed inhabited and some of the holes are even filled with garbage. Nevertheless, the city centre is pretty active. There were merchants selling goods and souvenirs along the streets of the city centre. The prices were quite reasonable, and they had quite a good selection of items.


We stayed in a cave hotel called Cappadocia Cave Suites, and it was one of the coolest place I've ever stayed. The room is equipped with proper heaters and a TV, and there is a normal bed inside, so it's not like you're staying there as a caveman :)

We took a hot air balloon ride at dawn. We were told by another passenger of the hot air balloon that we were lucky because she had been waiting for two days because you can't ride the balloons in bad weather. So, if you plan to ride the hot air balloon, it may be better to reserve some extra days just in case the weather does not permit you to fly. It would be quite a waste of the trip if you miss the balloon ride.

We paid USD 150 to ride the balloon, but the price may vary from one company to the other. The one that we rode, Discovery Balloons, seemed to be in the middle range. The staff was very professional, and he brought us really close to the landscapes without crashing. He's been flying the balloon for years :)

The balloon ride took about 2 hours, and the view from the balloon was just splendid.

They kind of look like king oyster mushrooms, don't they?

(image courtesy of www.mushrooms.ca)

Later on, we saw more of these king oyster mushroom-looking stones from closer distance.

I also tried my first Turkish ice cream in Cappadocia. Well, I had Turkish ice cream somewhere not in Turkey before, but you can never tell if it's authentic unless you try it once at its origin, right?

It was really creamy and delicious. The ice cream was made of goat milk, and although I'm not a big fan of sweet stuffs, I don't mind getting another cone of this ice cream again. And by the way, it's amazing that they also have Japanese translations in many touristic places in Turkey. I guess what they say in Hetalia, a Japanese web comic strip about personification of countries around the world, is true about Turkey and Japan.

Oh, and we spotted some camels, too. But these guys were just there because they know many tourists would take a photo of the camels and then they will demand a payment from taking the pictures of the camel. Well, at the very least, these guys are not aggressive, so you can quietly take a picture and they wouldn't be chasing after you.


Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but please comment responsibly :)