If there was one destination I was asked to remove from my Turkey itinerary, I’d think of it to be Cappadocia although seconds later, I’d change my mind and say “Nah, It’s good to explore that place once..”
This is the kind of bittersweet relationship I developed with this strange, surreal and contrasting place. In fact it’s people are like that too. Hot and Cold in an instant.
Just as you land at the Kayseri airport, you feel a change in the air, specially if you’re coming straight from the busy and vibrant Istanbul city, you’ll feel like you’ve landed on a completely different planet altogether – vast empty spaces, dry landscape, very quiet people, however beautiful, but very quiet, people who have difficulty speaking English and are trying their best to be hospitable hosts but despite Cappadocia being a popular tourist spot, it seems like they would rather not have the large influx of people pouring into their quiet lives every now and then.
I think they just have a unique style of their own and had we spoken their language and their kind of Turkish (yes the accent is different than the usual Turkish I heard in the metropolis) we could definitely have broken some barriers.
All that being said, they live in a mysteriously beautiful place, from another time or so, perfect for meditations and cancelling the noise outside to focus on within.
We checked into Paradise Cave hotel, recommended on travel websites and pretty cheap for the kind of service and rooms they offered. The manager, Osman, unlike the rest, loved chit chatting in his broken English and mapped out a route plan for us on how we could spend our 2 days on our own without having to purchase any tour. Perfect for budget travelers
The open air museums and caves are nearby so they can easily be covered on foot requiring a maximum of 3-4 hours if you just want to scout the area from its outskirts otherwise you would need longer hours to visit the monasteries, caves and love valleys etc.
Whereas the underground cities are farther away and since distances are vast, the best way to travel is to take their local bus that moves in between towns at designated hours. (approx 3TL per person, per side)
We chose to visit Derinkuyu Underground city, which feels totally deserted upon landing. You’ll hardly find someone there hence use maps. We took the tour without hiring a guide, who don’t have a standard pricing and will offer you their own rates as they see you strolling inside the maize.
Beware of the locals offering to guide you through the city and show you around as they’ll ask for a hefty price once done, when you thought they were simply being hospitable.
Take a road back to Nevesehir and roam around if you got time at hand, as it’s pretty well developed and the town has some nice shops to visit. Snacks and chocolates are pretty cheap here so buy as many as you want. Take a timely bus back to Goreme to enjoy the sunset. The sunset is beautiful indeed, spreading its hues silently amidst the rocky formations.
At night, you can go for shopping and a delicious dinner at the extensive food street. The food we had at Sadaf Restaurant was quite delish and you get a pretty lavish experience in not so high a price. Tipping low isn’t considered nice btw!
It’s advisable to not bargain with the vendors, they do not like to budge from the prices and actually get very offended if you try to persist on it. Definitely buy cosmetics from there, it’s quality is pretty good and long lasting.
The older aged vendors will specially converse limitedly with the customer and keep it very professional. Very few would smile back at you if you tried showing a warm attitude. Same is going to be the case at restaurants. They’re humble but strictly professional and wouldn’t like to exchange more than necessary like it usually is in Istanbul City, where they are super friendly and talkative with their customers.
They are slightly hot tempered and can get worked up very easily, probably due to communication barrier, but I think it has also to do with their surrounding environment. Although they will prove to be humble and generous in another instant, so you see, hot & cold, like I said.
Make sure to have a good night’s nap coz you’ll be waking up way before dawn for the Hot Air Balloon ride, which is vital to visiting Cappadocia, else it’s useless. Book it with your on hotel (approx 80Euros), enjoy pre-dawn snack and tea before you hop onto the balloon. The next few hours are just magical *Nostalgia*
Another useful tip is to book your bus trips in advance and NEVER forget to take the receipt from them once you have booked
Anyhoo, It’s great to enjoy multiple flavours of cities and its people. The whole experience is worth a try, at-least once.
Do tell in the comments below, if you have visited Cappadocia and how your experience was like. Hope you enjoyed the blog and don’t forget to scroll up to see the video as well. Cheers 🙂