Choosing where to stay in Cappadocia was a tough decision. I’m not being hyper dramatic when I say that I probably spent more time choosing this hotel than I did when I was choosing a wedding dress – and in the end, I made a decision via the less than scientific method of asking Mr Kiwi for two favourites, and flipping a coin. (The hotel, not the dress.)
I love staying in quirky hotels – but they have to carefully tiptoe the line between bland and kitsch, and suit our travelling style. I adore the hotels that have a keen sense of place (it’s also a bonus when they come with animal custodians like our stay with Jasper at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall or the Pygmy goat neighbours in Austin, Texas) and are lovely to come back to at the end of the day.
Our 100-foot tall hot air balloon floated above the ancient Turkish valleys filled with prehistoric stone edifices – and we just gazed in sheer wonder, 1,000 or so feet up in the sky. What I felt as we silently drifted above the pastel horizon while the sun slowly broke, is actually rather hard to express. Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia.
Part of me thought that those images of hundreds of balloons drifting in the pre-dawn light were photoshop creations but here it was, actually unfolding before us like a magical tableau. (Well, some of those images are definitely photoshopped, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
Ok, I’ll admit it. I was initially enticed to Goreme by the visions of hot air balloons silently floating above the ancient Turkish horizons. But, once we began researching our trip, I was intrigued by all of the things to do in Goreme and surrounding towns. Disclaimer: Contains an affiliate link which doesn’t cost you anything.
Rich with history, natural beauty and perfectly set up for exploring, our tour guide told us all about how Goreme is a tourism epicentre for the region, but it was just what we needed with only 2.5 days in Cappadocia.
I’ve always dreamed of exploring Turkey. My fascination began in High School when I learned about the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (now called Istanbul) through the ancient empire building of Alexander the Great. (I was struggling to find the words to share our trip to Turkey, so I thought I’d begin with my impressions of Cappadocia and Istanbul.)
We began our trip in Goreme (after landing in Istanbul for the night and then catching an internal flight – I’ll write a full itinerary in a subsequent post) the tourist capital of Cappadocia.
Well, summer has descended with the promise of overnight thunderstorms and humid temperatures, so if we were having coffee I would actually be drinking Lemon, Lime & Bitters already – a favourite Australasian summer drink of lemonade (fizzy just to clarify for the Americans), lime cordial or juice and bitters that just hits the spot on a hot old day.
If we were having coffee, I’d be telling you all about my recent adventures – a foray over to the Netherlands primarily by train – where I got to catch up with two blinkin’ lovely friends. (I also got to gambol briefly in Amsterdam for the afternoon – these are my favourite things to do in Amsterdam when I’ve got longer in the city and less wine to sip canalside.)