Cappadocia Living

 I already spilled the beans about Cappadocia in a previous post, talking about how I had been dreaming of exploring this region since my childhood. I won't go on and on about how enchanting it was... but I will make a few recommendations for your visit.

Ricky Cohete and I stayed in a charming little pansion (pensione) in the village of Goreme. I recommend you do the same. Rock Valley Pansion was not glamorous, but the staff was helpful, and they have a pool. You may think a pool is an extravagance, but in a dusty land it becomes a worthwhile luxury. They provide a great Turkish breakfast, and there are little huts around the garden, in which to read or nap or enjoy the mountains and caves and rock formations all around. Hiking trails lead right from the Pansion, so exploration is nearby.

The village of Goreme itself is small and friendly. Its inhabitants still lived in ancient carved caves, although now they seem to exist merely to profit from tourists.

When planning a trip to Cappadocia make sure your choice of lodging includes transportation to and from the airport, which can be up to 3 hours away. It is quite possible to play it cheap in the food department and splurge on tours. Unless you hire a private car, guided bus tours are the only way to hit the major sights. You don't want to miss the monastery, the largest of the underground cites, and the hidden canyon. All of these will be on the main tours. I know what you are thinking, because I thought the same thing. I hate tours, but in a region as remote as this, they are the only way to go- at least at first. Once you get your bearings it is quite possible to strike out on your own. While not a difficult region of the world to navigate, I would make a few reservations before arrival.

I took an entire day to just swim and explore and bask in the sun. I would recommend you do the same.  Cappadocia's beauty warrants reflection, so give it some time. I have heard from many sources that the sunrise balloon rides are a mesmerizing experience, but that is one place that Ricky and I cut back in favor of other expenditures.

Things to consider:

If you are the type to worry about snakes and scorpions, plan your trip before may or after october, and they should not be an issue.

Women should carry scarves with them at all times, for churches, mosques and holy spots. Plus you will look amazing.

Don't forget hiking boots, sunscreen, and clothes that can get dusty. Cappadocia is no fashion show.

Meet the locals! You will get awesome meals, stories, and great advice!

When I think of Cappadocia I think of how many fantastic people I met in a very short time. I think of hiking in the sunshine through canyons and meadows and along quiet streams. It is a shocking place, where one can accidentally stumble into an ancient church carved into the hillside, or laugh with locals at a curb-side barbershop, or be swept away by dramatic sunsets. 

Be sure to pack your imagination and your sense of awe. 

Jonathan Randall Grant
Culture Keeper