If you’re looking for a great place to tour while visiting Turkey look no further and book a trip to Cappadocia! Every person I asked where my next trip should be suggested a variety of places but there were a few common denominators that stood out. One of the places I kept hearing was Cappadocia, and after doing some research I decided to book a trip through a local tour agency. They told me the best time to visit this region was February through April, because of the off-peak season. I was also told as the temperatures rose, the cost of hotels and number of people visiting this “wonder of the world” would rise as well. For those who enjoy taking photo’s, this is a good time because the rainy season has passed and the flowers will be in bloom.
The adventure began as we rode for three-hours from the southern region of Turkey to the rock city. The ride to was filled with small landscapes and beautiful changes in the terrain that displayed a variety of farmlands, nature, and mountainous scenery. As we rode people took plenty of pictures from their seat as our tour guide explained the importance of the historic landmarks. The first stop was in Nevşehir Province where we explored an underground city. This was an amazing experience considering this was a place where people looked for refuge and safety. The city that dated back to 18B.C was the home to thousand of Christian families that were in hiding at that time. Could you imagine living in without any electricity, plumbing or daylight? The ceiling was designed to vent smoke in a wat that kept them from being detected as meals where being prepared. The underground was engineered to keep the individuals under the radar and safe from harms way. The guide went on to tell us how the caves housed thousands of people anywhere from days to years. When you visit this underground city you will notice it’s been outfitted with lights to help give guides direction and keep people from getting lost. I would suggest bringing along a flashlight, good shoes and clothes you don’t mind crawling around in.
After departing the underground city we visited a local restaurant where they had local cuisine filled with the best food you will ever get the opportunity to experience. We sat overlooking stone bird houses that is the home to hundreds of doves. After lunch we would ride for ten minutes then enjoy the sites at a variety of locations where we visited local shops, arts and craft venders and scenery that I had only seen in National Geographic’s books. Clay pottery is a very popular item in Turkey, especially in Cappadocia. We visited an onyx/ pottery shop that allowed tourist a chance to try their hand at crafting their own souvenir. As you visit the shops you will notice some impressive work of art that is created on site. The town was filled with many tour buses and people from all over the globe. Euro and Turkish lira is accepted at most locations in Cappadocia.
Our next stop was a carpet shop where we were taught how the materials, dye’s and carpets are crafted from cradle to grave. As you walk onto the property you’ll notice large vats of water prepared for the dying the wool and other fabrics used for carpets. If you’re in the market for a handmade silk carpet, you will notice women of all skill levels working on the masterpieces while being surrounded by all the material they need on hand. You will get to see how the silk is extracted from the cocoon and turned into string that is used for the carpets. As the lady’s are working they give the lady’s of the tour a chance at trying their skills in weaving a carpet. This very lengthy process also educates the tour on why the carpets are priced the way they are. I saw carpets that were entered into competitions valued at 30K. As we entered the back of the work shop we were served refreshments as the shop keeper displayed a variety of carpets that were for sell. The craftsmanship and elegant design are very impressive. If you’re in the market to purchase a carpet, they can arrange the shipping so you don’t have to worry about carrying them around.
After leaving the carpet shop we arrived at what I would consider a highlight of the trip, our hotel. Everything in Cappadocia was built out of stone or in the structure of a cave somehow, it was like living in the Flintstone era. The hotel was a cave hotel with five-star accommodations. Walking onto the property everything was made out of stone accented with marble and other botanical eye-catching sights. We were served wine, tea, coffee as complementary refreshments as our bags were delivered to our rooms. Each room is unique, but all have basic features. As I opened the door I noticed the spa tub with 360 degree jets, fully stocked wet bar, lights running through the granite counters and comfortable beds. The rooms range in size and I was very happy with my room.
Later that night we had a great diner then prepared for the night-time festivities. The hospitality of the town locals is great and they make sure you time in Cappadocia is memorable. We took a trip into town where we entered another cave that showcased local entertainment. Fresh beverages and food was brought to our table as we watched folk dances, and other acts from the entertainers. Audience members were highly encouraged to participate as the night grew. The cave was filled with sounds of people having a great time as the air was filled with the essence of fresh food, wine and fun. The grand finale was closed out by a belly dancer that drew in participation where men and women would try to mimic the snake-like motions of the dancer which was entertaining in itself. The night drew to a close and photos of the night were made available as we walked to out shuttle.
The next day we had a Turkish breakfast filled with fresh fruit, local honey, nuts, and other delicious treats. As the sun was up we could hear goats and other wildlife waking up as well. Hot air balloons filled the sky where outdoor tours began for other tourist. There are many activities that you can take advantage of on your visit to the rock city. Below are some pictures from my trip. Fell free to comment or ask any questions. See you on the next weekend get away.