Hidden Valley Waterfall

Hidden Valley Waterfall

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cappadocia - a place you have to see

I left Istanbul and headed to Cappadocia for two days. I had decided to do the cheaper route and take the overnight buses there and back. Well, on the bus ride there, two different Turkish men thought it would be ok to rub my legs while I was sleeping. When I jumped and gave them the "What the F*#&?", they stopped, but the one creeper still watched me all night. So, I didn't start my trip off wonderfully. However, when I got there, the natural beauty that I got to see was well worth it. And, I just booked  single flight back to Istanbul, which wasn't much.

Cappadocia is best known for it's "Fairy Chimneys". These are rock formations. Years and years ago, lava created these formations, which have eroded over time, causing the looks to change. Surrounded by mountains, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Thousands of  years ago, people discovered that the rocks were soft enough to carve into.  Therefore, they used them for housing (hiding from enemies), and also to create pigeon houses. They would gather the pigeon poop to use as fertilizer on their farms. You can read more about Cappadocia on your own free will, but seeing it in person is so breathtaking.

We also got to visit the Kaymakli underground city. We were told that 4,000 people were able to live underground at once. They had 8 levels! Due to erosion and weakening, you can only go down to the 4th level now. But, it was still so amazing! They had churches, wineries (smart people!), living rooms, bedrooms, and everything else all carved out nicely. I thought it was the absolute coolest place to play as a kid (inner child was coming out) and hated to leave. 

The last highlight to share from my two day trip was the gorgeous hot air balloon ride that we did at sunrise over the city. We arrived early enough to see them preparing the balloons. Then, when they were fully ready, our group piled in and away we went. It was so smooth, you didn't even realize you were moving up. As we were floating through the sky, the sun rose and lit up the rock formations all around. It was such a spectacular morning!! And, my first hot air balloon ride!

If you are ever in Turkey for any reason, you owe it to yourself to get to this area. It only takes two days to see and do the main things, and some people even do it in one day, if you arrive the night before. I loved this part of my trip so much and I was very glad I got the chance to go. I originally was not going to, but something in my gut kept telling me I would regret it if I didn't. Man, I'm glad I have good gut instincts. I really would have regretted missing this. 

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