Kapadokya with the FamFam

The trip to Kapadokya with my family was fantastic!  We stayed at an adorable little place in Goreme.   The owner was incredible helpful.  He steered us to some really wonderful small family owned restaurants where we had some truly incredible food.  I even went back to one of them later and learned how to make Turkish Manti (ravioli).

Showing my parents the incredible rock formations, with their amazing natural properties and unbelievable carvings and churches was really wonderful.  I was so excited to share my favorite parts of my new country with my Famfam.

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We stayed in a lovely hotel which had a great view of the valley of Goreme.

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We had two rooms on slightly different levels.  The rooms themselves were carved into the rock walls of the fairy chimneys.

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We shared a balcony which worked out very nicely for post hiking cocktails.

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My parents were game for all kinds of hiking and tromping.  We climbed hills and rocks, looking for the best views.

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This visit to Kapadokya we actually had time to hike in Ihlara valley.  This is a valley about 45 minutes away from Goreme.  To enter the valley you have to climb down about 400 steps because the valley walls are made of sheer rock cliffs.  Into these cliffs thousands of year ago people had carved large and elaborately decorated churches complete with vivid frescos.  There are also many cave-dwellings carved into the rock as well.

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We hiked from the halfway down the valley to the end and saw several lovely churches and lots of cave dwellings.

056  A stream ran through the middle of the valley separating the two sides.  At the end of the valley we wanted to walk back on the other side to see different scenery but there was no bridge.  We intrepid explorers found a shallow spot to cross and trudged through.  The effort to get to the other side was rewarded as the path was beautiful and there were several more churches on that side.   047

We also managed to visit a few wineries and take advantage of the regions other natural attractions.

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Rockin’ Times in Turkey!

So my second wedding (to the same man in two months) is coming up.  My parents flew in to Turkey for the wedding and decided since they were in the country to take advantage of the situation.  We have taken two road trips, one to Kapadokya and one to the Black Sea Region.   We have been having a blast since my parents are awesome.

I have already posted about Kapadokya, but will again soon since this time we went to different hotels, museums and restaurants.  It was also really great to see my parents experience the amazing landscape for the first time.   They also were able to share some new things with me.

My parents are early risers, so without them I never would have seen this.

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Yes, I am standing barefoot in my pajamas.  It was 6 am.  My parents had seen the hot air balloons coming down at sunrise and pounded on my door until I stumbled out of bed to see what the hell was going on.

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It really was amazing, if a little bit chilly in my pjs.

Kapadokya

We went to Kapadokya a few weekends ago, taking advantage of the long weekend. It was children’s day, a day to emphasize that children are the future of the nation. I had Friday off, so we hit the road Thursday after work. Bulent, his mom and dad and I all went down to Kapadokya, and it was amazing.

Capedocia 009 The view from out hotel’s restaurant terrace.

Kapadokya is a region where rock formations formed by volcanic activity have been carved and shaped by erosion and people for millennium. All throughout the area are amazing rock formations into which churches and monasteries and villages have been carved into the soft rock. There are even underground cities 9 stories deep where villages would go underground with their animals to resist invaders who who trying to conquer the fertile land. Capedocia 058

We stayed at a lovely and inexpensive hotel called the Arch Palace, it was wonderful. Mustafa Bey and his wife run the place. They are wonderfully warm and welcoming, and their children are adorable. Mustafa Bey was wonderfully knowledgeable about the sights to see, not only in Göreme, but the entire region. We were able to visit the best parts of the Kapadokya region, thanks to his guidance, and I can honestly say—We lucked out. We stayed in the most adorable, friendly and geologically jaw-dropping village, with an awesome host. The other towns and villages were lovely but they were overrun with buses of tourists who crowd up all the sights and clog the roads. We refer to them as…“The Buffalo.”

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We also tasted some superb local wine and tried some of the local foods, which varied from the food in Ankara. It was a lovely trip. There will be some more posts coming up from my recent travels, including food from Göreme and this weekends visit to Eskisehir.

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