We were so excited to get off that horrible night bus (fly if you can) and arrived in Cappadochia in the morning. Goreme is a small town with tons of options of place to sleep including inside cave hotels. Given Ruby’s tendency towards claustrophobia we opted for a stone walled room at the awesome Karadut Cave Hotel for 45 Euros a night including an amazing breakfast on the gorgeous patio with a views of the town below. It’s just a short walk from the bus station (uphill of course). The room was large and pristine with a nice sitting area. This time of the year is pretty hot so we definitely recommend an A/C. The owner Alican Faydali was super nice and helped us arrange everything we could possibly want to do in the area.
That night we walked up to Sunset Point and were treated to a phenomenal sunset overlooking the town of Goreme. You can see the tan colored cave structures . . .
Dinner was great at Koy Evi just a short walk down the hill from sunset point and we loved watching the women in the kitchen make delicious turkish bread in the stone fired oven.
That night Ruby got word from home that she had passed her Dermatology Board Exam!!! We decided to celebrate with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Cappadocchia. Definitely a must-do while here! This was our first hot air balloon ride so we didn't know what to expect. We used Rainbow balloons and the cost was about $145 USD pp. We were picked up at the hotel at 4:30am and taken to the office to get some breakfast. Our balloon had a total of 16 people in it but the basket is larger than it looks so it didn’t feel too crowded. We did bring light jackets but it wasn’t super cold up there on this morning. Our pilot Ferhat was super professional and we were up in the air, first in the dark but then it got slowly brighter as the sun came up. The ride was about an hour of gently soaring high and low over Love Valley with it’s strange naturally formed phallic and fairy chimney rock formations below.
We watched the sunrise over the mountains and the best part was definitely seeing all the other colorful balloons up in the air with us!
The pilot made a perfect landing directly onto the truck bed that was waiting on the ground WOW!! We touched the ground and celebrated with a glass of sparkling wine.
This was definitely an unforgettable experience that we recommend to anyone who isn’t afraid of heights of course!
We loved the balloons so much that we got up super early again the next morning just to watch them take off and see them in the air just one more time! Hiking through Love Valley was also pretty impressive
Feeling adventurous and after having seen this area from above we decided to rent a car and explore on own own (approx $50 USD/per day). It’s easy to drive in Cappadocchia with good roads and signs posted. . as long as you can read a map! We visited Derinkuyu, one of the famous underground cities which are a collection of tight underground tunnels and rooms going down 7 or 8 stories deep!! Mind your head when walking (see how tall Tony is compared to the doorway) and if doing a self-guided driving tour don’t bother paying for an extra guide, there are signs explaining the different underground rooms! Obviously we don't recommend this if you're claustrophobic
We drove through Ilhara Valley and found some of the the Rock Churches hidden inside little caves just along the road with some of the oldest frescos of Christianity in the world. It was amazing that there wasn’t a single other person there- anywhere else you would see a line out the door to see these things and they’d be roped off!?!?
We are suckers for a good sunset so we headed back to Sunset Point again where we enjoyed some beer and wine with some new friends, Brazilians Hugo and his girl who live in Cerrado Barra do Garcas! The best part of travel is meeting new friends for sure! We hope to visit them in Brazil or have them come for a visit to the US
Somehow Ruby convinced me onto another night bus and we were off to Pammukale. . .