I took a flight from Istanbul to Kayseri Airport. It was raining again! But once I landed and walked out, I was greeted by a cool breeze and it felt like I was in a different part of the world. This place was nothing like Istanbul. This place is located in central Turkey.
If you've ever read the bible, you will recall that Cappadocia and Cilicia were in ancient Greece. They were actually important Christian cities. After the Ottoman Turks took over the reign of Turkey and surrounding areas, they captured Cappadocia from Greece and bought it under their Empire. Today, Cappadocia is part of the modern Turkish republic and a major tourism hub. The name 'Cappadocia' is derived from the Persian word 'Katpaktukya' which is translated as 'the land of beautiful horses'
Cappadocia's attraction to tourists is mainly because of the lunar-like mushroom shaped fairies. LOL. That's not what it looked like to me. formed by erosion of volcanic sediments over years that later solidified into a soft rock known as tuff. After several more years of the winds eroding the rocks' surface left them smooth.
During the Arab invasion, the retreating Christians used to hide in the underground cities in Gerome. It was really good to visit the underground cities and I felt claustrophobic. The Göreme Open-Air Museum encompasses the best known religious complexes in the area. Alongside the other rock sites of Cappadocia, it was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
The entire region is captivating. I stayed in a cave hotel with only 5 rooms. It was an amazing and exclusive experience. I felt like I was living in a The Flintstones cartoon set.
There are dozens of hiking trails, so if the weather is perfect, just grab your walking shoes and head out onto the paths.I hiked for almost 3 hours walking through valleys and caves. Connecting with nature is absolutely beautiful.
Cappadocia is best seen from a hot air balloon. I had to wake up at 4am and head out in the freezing weather to the balloon site and was freaking out because it was my first time. Our pilot greeted us and was totally badass. Once we went up, I can't tell you how great it felt. The ride makes you feel like you are in a space ship and and capturing the aerial view of the region is mind blowing.
If you get a chance, make sure you visit Cappadocia. It is absolutely worth your time. In fact Turkey is a beautiful country with an extraordinary culture. I am definitely going back because there's so much more to do there. Until then, I'll cherish the memories.