Kapadokya!

ourlIt’s been a whirlwind of events at Kapadokya. It’s a small touristy town filled with chimneys, rock formations, and odd shaped valleys that were created by a volcanic eruption from many centuries ago. The place is truly unique and it did wow me because no place really comes close in terms of its landscape.

Of course with so many cave dwellings and rock sculptures, we had to stay in a “cave hotel.” Perhaps it was a very touristy thing to do but it was a lot of fun getting to know the owners and the hotel itself. The city was a bit cooler than I expected because of the valley but the rocks used to build the hotel isolated the air very well. I was very impressed by the warmth of the room without any heat needed.

We arrived at a very late hour because the flight was delayed (story of my life) so by the time we checked in, it was about 1am. The owner mentioned that I was scheduled to be picked up for the hot air ballon ride at 4:50am. Good thing I was a bit jetlagged and got some shut eye before we landed. The couple hours of sleep were golden.

At 5am, we left for our flight! The balloon was beyond my expectations. It was absolutlely enormous is size. The staff loaded us on to the basket within moments while the pilot was firing into the balloon for some wind and air. The one hour ride was so amazing and was completely blown away by the scenic view. We saw the entire city in a bird eye’s view. Words simply can’t describe how stunning the ride was. Strangely, I was not bothered by the height even though I’m extremely afraid of heights.

By 8am, we were back in the hotel. Instead of figuring things out ourselves, we decided to join a tour – green tour. It’ll be quick and simple. The tour started at 9:30 and we came back at 6pm. We stopped at 4 different locations – …. And I slept between each destination. By the time we got back, I was so exhausted from jumping locations. All I could think about was a good meal. Within a few meters of the hotel, there was a pretty well known restaurant known as “Top Cave Restaurant” so we went there. The decor was lovely because it looks similar to the cave hotel and it was family owned. The food was really good but we were so sleepy half way through the meal. We had baklava, lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper and cheese.

Next morning, we had breakfast on their roofdeck. Food was simple and delicious. There wasn’t much that I wanted to do so we went to the Open Air Museum. It was quite boring to say the least probably because we saw so many cave dwellings the day before so it was anything but impressive but it was nice to be outdoors with the sunshine. After the museum, we took some silly photos with the Ottoman costumes. Then we had ice cream from the local vendor. He had a slight demonstration.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel and waited around for the 8am overnight bus to Istanbul. The bus ride is supposed to take 11 hours and I was hoping for huge comfortable seats but it was a regular coach bus. Slept through most of the ride but it was not too comfortable. Refrained from taking in any liquids because the size of my bladder is super tiny and finding a bathroom wouldve been a pain.

The ladies here are extremely conservative. Mostly everyone have their heads covered. This is very similar to the ladies in other Muslim countries. The long capris and tshirts make look completely underdressed for the occasion. The good part is that the dudes werent gawking at me like raw meat. What a relief!! Maybe I can pull off a tank top one of these days.

Finally we reached Istanbul and waited an hour for the mini shuttle bus to Sultanahmet. Good thing it’s only 8am so we’re in no rush to get anywhere since the hostel probably wont check us in…

Stay tuned to see and smell what Istanbul has to offer!

the cave hotels

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