CAPPADOCIA – The Mysterious Land of Fairy Chimneys
“The world is a book and those who do not TRAVEL read only one page”- Augustine of Hippo
I can proudly say that I am a travel fanatic and have travelled a lot of places, which makes me a better wanderer than others. I have travelled distances to explore that part of the world that is usually last in the line to be discovered. Every place had a story which cannot be explained in one full blog.
Embrace yourself, hold your breaths because my story is about to begin.
I took a flight from Istanbul to Nevsehir on Turkish Airline; it was roughly an 85 minutes flight. I preferred the airport at Nevsehir, as it was a bit cheaper than the one at Kayseri.
Now In our flight there was a large group of students from USA, and interestingly students belonged to different ethnicity. I have had a conversation with One of the faculty members who told me that they were here to discover “the history within this land”. Honestly, I had no interest whatsoever in Cappadocia until I realized that this group of students crossed oceans to unveil the artifacts of this mysterious land. Clearly it had something special and that raised my curiosity to the level that I planned to travel those places as well. The historian in me was finally awake. Now let me tell you something, Cappadocia is famous for fairy chimneys and hot air balloon! Who doesn’t love hot air balloon? I knew I have had to ride on it, especially since we do not have any such activity in our own land.
We were so engrossed in discussion that we didn’t realize that we had reached our destination, until an announcement was made. To my disappointment, our flight did not land between fairy chimneys but at a fully formed airport located at a farther distance from the actual destination. My hotel was in Ayvali, I booked it because it was famous as one of the pioneer cave hotels in this area. It was about 70 KM from airport. My transfer from Airport to hotel was also booked, so just in a couple of minutes I was out from the airport and direct into the hands of my rising curiosity.
First Valley Look of Cappadocia
I passed through Goreme and Urgup. Both places were a hub for many foreign tourists. Many cave and conventional hotels were there with a number of restaurants which served diversified cuisines. The bus stations were full. The shops were full of different tourists shopping for souvenirs to take back home. Tourists, tourist everywhere! Goreme is the region from where Hot Air Balloons takes off.
Houses of Local People
Urgup is more or less like our very own Baluchistan’s coastal area. Mysterious formations of those tent rocks or the Fairy Chimneys would be your first and only attraction in this part of the land. These fairy chimneys took million of years to look like this! OH EM GEE!
Path To My Hotel
Finally after the drive of half an hour, driver stopped the car and said we have arrived at your hotel. Trust me I was so blank at that time, I could not see any possible hotel nearby. Anyhow with full faith in God, I took my bagpack and started walking down towards the location he pointed. Finally, I found a door in cave wall. I opened the door, and surprising it was a hotel! It had door numbers labeled and if you walk forward you could point out a nice and small swimming. I rummaged through the hall to find a reception. I finally found a reception with a help of an English guy who was doing some kind of maintenance work on his bike. The reception looked like a cave. The girl on reception, Ms Tooba was one hell of a lady. She gave me all possible valuable information about the hotel. Ten points for her greatness.
I was directed to my room which was quite pleasant. It had red bed cover, red carpet and red rugs. Did I tell you I was on my honeymoon? No! of course, because I wasn’t. My room looked out to an amazing view, exactly what I have wanted. Piece of advice, if you are in Cappadocia please choose cave hotels because they are exceptional and unique. Conventional hotels would be a big blunder on your part. Stay calm and stay focus!
Gamirasu Cave Hotel – on of the Pioneer Cave hotels
After getting refreshed, I went downstairs to look for the man who helped me finding the reception. After a little introduction,” what made him to come to this place”, so he revealed, he was coming all the way from London on his motorbike, and will further go through Iran, Pakistan, India and will end at Nepal. WOW!! It’s a long journey! Soon we became really good travel buddies. Though I already had plans for Turkish Nights (belly dance and some fun) but I got so involved in sharing thoughts that I opted to stay with him.
He told me about his emotional relationship with Pakistan, his grandfather worked for the British Army and lived on the part of land which is now Pakistan. I have great respect for his sentiments. He did not know much about Pakistan, apart from what was told on media.
Dinner with Will
I tried my best to get him connected with experts of this field back in Pakistan, so I spoke to one of my friends, Mr. Sulaiman Zaffar, who has a massive experience of motor bike riding in Pakistan. Sulaiman gave Will some good piece of advices. After that i introduced him to Mr Iqbal Jhangla, one of the pioneer motorbike rider in Pakistan. which After that we also spoke to Mr. Iqbal Jhangla, one of the pioneer motorbike riders in Pakistan. Being British Citizen, Will was supposed to get a local tour guide 24/7 with him during his entire stay in Iran when crossing through borders on Motorbike. Unfortunately couldn’t help him with that. We both shared a wonderful meal of lamb shank.
Mouthwatering Lamb Shank
In the morning I was booked for the Hot Air Balloon ride, so I requested Will to join me as well, he accepted my invitation so we both were too excited for the morning show.
Iconic Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia
We woke up early in the morning at 4 AM, we were escorted from hotel by 4:30 AM to the Göreme Open Air Museum, where hot Air balloons flight was suppose to depart. There were so many others who were picked on the way, couples, group of friends & families. These balloons were an eye candy for people of all ages. After having a good breakfast there we were informed that all the hot air balloon rides were cancelled due to abysmal weather condition. Thankfully, we had a backup plan! I got the thrilling and amazing motor bike ride experience with Will.
Me & Will all set for the drive
We drove for 3 hours on the roads of Cappadocia where we explored the beauty of its outskirts. It was a truly amazing experience to be on the motorbike with Will who has been driving for hours for days, I was trying to put myself in his shoes and felt a little tickling when I realized that he is actually traveling to the countries and revealing the natural treasures of their beautiful land.
Thus, we had a memorable sunrise at a peak. I tried to calm myself down saying that ” I am glad the flight was cancelled or else i would have never been able to experience the bike thrill” but in reality it was plain sad! I did not get to experience the one good thing in Cappadocia. So if you are in cappodocia don’t miss out on hot air balloon. NEVER!
I had to bid farewell to Will in turkey, since he was leaving for Islamabad, Pakistan directly, skipping Iran and planning to continue his journey to foot. He sent back his bike to London. I will let you know his experience in another blog post. Wait for it! 😀
Beautiful landscape at Rose Valley
So it was the time to see what the land of Cappadocia was with a local tour guide. Our group was quite small. I am glad.
With Lorena from Ecuador & our tour guide Fatih Sakir CAKACI
It was just me and another Ecuadorian girl from South American countries. Lorena was on a long vacation, yes long means really long, she had plans for a solo ride for 40 days. In which she was covering a few European countries and Turkey. She was really excited for her trip. I discovered the rest of Cappodocia with an amazing tour guide, Mr. Fatih Sakir CAKACI and a small group. I didn’t know it would be so fantastic to see the valleys and the history that lies within this land. CAKACI was a gentleman. He guided us the best places, food and everything. I’d rate that tour 10/10 only because of his expertise.
Unbelievable Old Churches, Carved in Caves
Don’t know about the tree, but I found it like it was welcoming us 🙂
It was a well spen time. We had a delicious traditional Turkish cuisine at a very scenic restaurant, there we got to know that it was Lorena’s birthday. Lunch became a birthday treat for the beautiful lady from Ecuador.
After lunch we visited traditional Cappadocian pottery shops, we witnessed the making of beautiful ceramic items and also visited jewelry shops. You can find a perfect gift for your loved ones from there.
Visit to Pottery & Ceramic shop
We then went to see Kaymakli Underground City, a place which was more than 5-6 stories down the ground, carved by the Hittites about 3500 years ago and it was used for the living of thousands of people in 7th& 8th centuries. It was mind blowing!
Kaymakli Underground City
It is a must go place while visiting Cappadocia. We visited souvenirs shops and Lorena bought a couple of small hand bags, beautifully handmade as a souvenirs from this land, there I found the tag on them “Made in Pakistan” which made me so overwhelmed with pride.
Made in Pakistan 🙂
The tour ended at 4:30 PM and I had to catch my bus for my next destination at 5:30 from Nevsehir. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Cappadocia, it is highly recommended for those who want to spend some time in peace and close to the nature. You’ll find something new in this land which would last for a little longer in your memories.
Please give your valuable input and share your feedback
TIPS FOR TRAVELERS:
Always get a local SIM with internet, so that you can easily trace your location and find nearby attractions
Plan your trip in such a way that you must have 2 clean days
Keep your Hot Air Balloon Ride on day 1, just in case if due to weather it is cancelled you may have another day to take this trip
Highly recommended to stay in any cave hotel, staying in conventional hotels in Cappadocia is not at all a good choice
Visit Urgup or Goreme if you are not staying at these towns
Go for a walk in the valleys it is quite refreshing
Take souvenirs of Hot Air Balloon and Fairy Chimneys from these places
WHAT TO EXPECT & WHAT NOT TO EXPECT IN THIS BLOG:
You may learn a simple travelling experience to this destination
You may find some tips to plan your trip in a better way
You will not find any historical details (for which you can always Google)