‘Before holidaying in Istanbul, I’d never heard of Cappadocia. Luckily for me, I have a keen and inquisitive photographer for a husband, who thought it’d be the perfect day out…’
He wasn’t wrong. However, it was quite an expedition to get to Cappadocia from central Istanbul. It involved a very early morning taxi, an internal flight from Sabiha Gokcen airport, two uncomfortable bus journeys, and a bit of walking in the intense Turkish sun.
And this was all before we got there…
|Queen of the World. Or something.|
Cappadocia is one of the most unique sites that we’ve visited and reminded me, somewhat, of the set from a Star Wars movie. Its incredible topography makes it a massive tourist attraction.
The volcanic landscape is pretty inhospitable, but years of erosion has led to the formation of amazing caves and spikes in the soft stone. The dwellings have been carved into the rocks and whole communities once lived there.
|Fancy living in one of these?|
|My new house…|
It’s a massive area, so we found that comfy shoes and a decent level of fitness was the best way to see the sights. Cappadocia is famous for hot air balloons, which must be an amazing way to see the landscape from the skies. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground and get around the old-fashioned way.
One of the most popular areas is the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Museum showcases what was previously a Byzantine monastic hideaway, with fabulous churches and chapels carved into the rock. Pathways lead right around, so there’s a natural route to take you up into the hills.
There are lots of little caves and frescos to have a look at and wear out your camera photographing. Although the area was busy with busloads of tourists during our visit, Cappadocia is so expansive that you’re never too far away from peace and quiet.
Goreme National Park
The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia are in Goreme National Park. Over the centuries, the wind and rain have eroded the rock and produced unusually shaped columns. They almost look like they’ve been intentionally carved. I spent a while staring at them and trying to comprehend *just* how they came to be. It’s a rather mind-blowing sight.
Urgup is a small town (much larger than Goreme) and has a range of eateries and accommodation. It’s the tourism hub of the area. Goreme also has offerings in terms of places to stay and things to do. Both towns are worth exploring in their own right.
It is estimated that the entire site of Cappadocia could be up to 5 million square feet. That’s right….5 MILLION Sq ft. Clearly, then, there’s A LOT to see. The whole area has so much to offer and, if you can handle the heat, you’ll love it.
Despite it taking the best part of 6 hours so us to get there, the experience was fantastic. It was well worth the time and expense to stand in such an incredible landscape.