Location: Göreme, Turkey
If it were up to me, I might not have planned a trip to Cappadocia. Instead, I would have spent many days in Istanbul.
However since my mom was visiting, my sister was very helpful and enthusiastic in looking for sights to see. She found out about cave hotels and balloon rides in Turkey and even helped us book 2 nights in a cave hotel in Göreme.
After a 12-hour bus ride from Istanbul, we arrived in the little town of Göreme. The tour company picked us up from the bus terminal but took a little while looking for our hotel.
When we got there, it was too early for check in but we were allowed to have breakfast. The spread was more generous than what we had in our Istanbul hotel.
Since we couldn’t check in so early, we decided to visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum (15 lira entrance, extra 8 lira for Dark Church).
It took us quite a lot of walking to reach the museum from our hotel. Along the way, we saw the many caves and mountains that are famous in this region. The rocks look quite funny.
One of the more famous rock formation is called “fairy chimney” but for my 15-year-old teenage boy mind, they look more like pen*ses (I looked up wikipedia for the plural of pen*s.) See for yourself.
After a gruelling walk up and down some hills, we finally reached Göreme Open-Air Museum. Thank fully the entrance fee wasn’t 25 as I previously thought it was.
Göreme Open-Air Museum, worth the visit
Before coming to the museum, I read a few conflicting reviews about Göreme Open-Air Museum on Tripadvisor.
The place was actually nice since I really like Christian Byzantine art for its “unrealness”. But the caves are really small and we needed to elbow a few other tourists to visit the tiny little chapels in the caves.
The best church among the caves was the Dark Church which requires an extra 8 lira entrance fee. Inside, the walls and ceilings are covered with art works but most of the saints have their faces chiselled off.
On our way back, I caved in so we got back on a taxi for 10 lira. It was well worth the money since the noon sun was even more cruel.
Six hour power nap
After a lunch in the little town, we head back to the hotel. Our room was ready and our bags were brought into our cave room.
The cave hotel room was cool even though it was blisteringly hot outside. With our double bed and light, the whole setting didn’t look very much like a cave. Instead, it was more like the walls having funky uneven patterns.
Unfortunately, the room was rather humid and nothing would dry if we hung it inside. Thankfully we have a little porch with two sofas. We took the liberty of hanging a few of our laundry outside.
Since we took a night bus, our sleep quality the night before wasn’t very good. The room was so cool that we fell into a nap very soon.
Mom’s nap turned out to be 2 hours longer than mine. I admired the sunset and worked on May 26’s blog post during that time.
At night, we went to a restaurant suggested by Foursquare. The place was awesome as the tea and apple tea were served free and for as much as we want. Yum!
We walked back to the hotel in the cool night air and rested at 11:00pm to prepare for our early morning hot air balloon ride the next day.