Cappadocia: A Mysterious Place in Turkey
January 1, 1970
by Ozlem Gonulkirmaz
I guarantee the best place that we’ve ever seen! With your boyfriend/girlfriend, Cappadocia is very romantic and so interesting to discover. The structure of its soft rock has made by volcanic outspurts that cause the soil buildings with winds and rains so you can see fairy chimneys (strange rock formation, earth pyramid) between mountains. These structures are formed within 60 billion years from volcanic rocks. This land formation also creates underground cities and caves in this magical city. You can see a lot of cave-churches which remained from the history of Byzantine and Roman.
If you prefer to travel by bus, it takes 5 hours from Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. We have used this way to arrive. After arriving in the local bus station, you can take a taxi to arrive your destination. It is not expensive in this city, around 20 TL (Turkish Liras) for Mustafapasa town, 5 km from Urgup. You will see that every place through the road is located inside of the rocks. In this town, another name is Sinasos in the history, Greeks and Muslims had lived together up until 1923. During this period, basements of the houses have used as cellars, storerooms and stables. In Mustafapasa town, you can also visit many churches and chapels with lots of frescoes and ornaments on the walls. Moreover, there is an old toy museum that no one knows too much where it is. It is located in Cappadocia Art and History Museum, Old Greek House Sinasos Village which is a very historical house standing for 170 years. I highly suggest to you that do not turn back without seeing this place and drink your Turkish tea on the terrace of this little ornamented house. In the balcony, you can see the toys of the sultans of old Ottoman empire, Hurrem and Suleyman.
Activities you can participate in Cappadocia
It contains balloon tours (nowadays it is around 150 Euro), regional tours that include the underground cities, horse trekking. You can also taste really good vines in Urgup wineries. Depending on your preference, you can buy a tour and join daily tours also for this activity but I always prefer to discover by myself. Besides, in the centre of Urgup, there are lots of historical buildings such as Old Mansion (Asmali Konak). In the past, a popular TV series was recorded in this old authentic village. Moreover, you can buy some souvenirs in this area. There are very nice and authentic stores that you can find the different style of decorative items made from stone. Most of the people lived here are very friendly and helpful so you can find more than you search.
When we travel to Cappadocia with my boyfriend, we hired a bicycle to take a tour of the city and stay in a cave hotel (Bezirhane) at Mustafapasa town. It was very fantastic with its historical buildings. You can sleep with the soul of ancestors. You can find always a cheap hotel here if you search for nearest villages. Hiring a bicycle was a good idea but I have to say that “be ready for exhaustion”. We traveled from Mustafapasa to Goreme Open-air Museum by bicycle but it was a long long way with up-and-down roads. The most beautiful thing is that you will see very nice places during your short trip. Every corner in this city is unique like out-of-this-world.
Timing of your vacation
For every season, I can suggest this travel plan to you because Cappadocia has different ambience for every season. For instance, in winter, you can get warm in a coach near a fireplace while swallowing your red wine. Meanwhile, the rocks and cave buildings are looking very inspiring under snow. It is a good time to listen yourself and maybe write your book that never started before.
Other places to visit
Avanos is the other place that you can visit, the distance is 8 km from Goreme. You can buy some special carpets here and go for another short sight-seeing for old Stone houses. Besides, in Ihlara Valley, many churches are waiting for your discovery. The other feature of this unique city is that all of the churches and chapels are dependent with tunnels and passages inside of the underground structure. When we were traveling by bicycle, we realized several churches that we did not plan to go. It is known that the valley housed more than four thousand dwellings and a hundred churches. As you can understand, there are still undiscovered underground places in this area. Be sure, Cappadocia will surprise you during your trip. I think, you can think about buying a cave house and moving to this fantastic city…
Goreme Open-air Museum
It is located in the centre of Nevsehir and in a valley that includes cave churches, chapels and houses with beautiful frescoes (wall paintings). This historical place has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984. One of that specific churches is Dark Church. You can find special scenes on the walls of this church. Please, be aware that most of the churches are not convenient for people with claustrophobia and asthma because inside of them you maybe need to pass throughout escape tunnels. These tunnels are low, narrow and sloping.
Another thing is that if you want to visit many museums buy a museum card for multiple passes from any museum officer. It will be more affordable than paying museum by museum in every place.
More suggestions for your stay:
We cannot wait to stay in “Sacred House”, Urgup/Nevsehir for our next holiday. The thing that makes this hotel magical is its awarded architecture made by a Turkish man, Turan Gülcüoglu. This place published in journals with its unique design and it was awarded in London, Johansens 2011 “The Best Hotels in the World” as the “Most Excellent Hotel for Design and Innovation”. This hotel, as you expected, is a little bit expensive but the place will take you to your own fairytale. You can choose a room with its special story like Harem (Ottoman style), Archangel, Chevalier. All of them are full of statues, mystic decorations, candles, special bathroom accessories.
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