“letting my dreams fly up in the sky, away into the universe ” was the exact sentence going through my mind while I was watching the balloons flying away at the sunrise in Cappadocia.
For a long time Cappadocia was one of those places that I had in my bucket list to visit, but for some reason kept postponing. At last, this year at the beginning of May it was the right time for our family to visit this unique town in central Turkey.
The Open Air Museum
UNESCO World Heritage since 1985 and its one of a kind in the world
Before my trip, I felt like I had done quite a lot of research, planned everything, and I thought I was ready for all Cappadocia had to offer. The minute I arrived, realised I wasn’t ready for its unique landscapes, history and beauty. The region of Cappadocia is a place where nature and history integrate. It’s really not promoted enough for what it is. Words are not quite enough to describe its beauty; you have to experience this one-of-a-kind place, with its famous ‘fairy chimneys’ – tall cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Goreme. The region itself was formed 60 million years ago; its ‘fairy chimneys’ by millions of years’ of wind and rain erosion of the soft layers of lava and ash from Mount Erciyes (Argeus), Mount Hasan and Mount Güllü.
Cave Coffee Shops
Cave Stone Hotel Rooms
The Balloon Sunrise
When in Cappadocia, the sunrise balloon ride is a must, and if you don’t want to miss the magical trip then you need to be up early – at 4 or 5 am depending on whether you are going up in a balloon or just watching the sunrise. The age limit for children to take a balloon ride is 6 years old. We had a 3-year-old with us and so couldn’t make it up into the sky. Instead, we ended up watching the sunrise with balloons rising slowly into the blue. Perhaps a balloon ride would have been even more special, but just watching the view and taking it all in was quite magical.
Human settlement at the Cappadocia region dates back to the Paleolithic era. The lands where the Hittites once lived have been one of the most important centers of Christianity in the later periods. Houses and churches carved into the caves and rocks turned the region into a huge heaven for Christians escaping from the dominance of the Roman Empire.
To make your trip run smoothly, pay attention to these simple but key tips to make your life easier. If you are visiting the place in spring/summertime like I did, make sure you have your most comfortable shoes with you: there’s a lot of walking/climbing involved! It gets slightly chilly at nights, so I would recommend taking a cosy sweater/jumper with you. During the day, it gets quite windy and sunny, so I’m sure you’ll want your sunscreen and your stylish sunglasses … and a cross-body bag to carry all your essentials.
Enjoy, and make the best out of your trip, and let me know if Cappadocia is on your bucket list!