Cappadocia – an area southeast of Ankara famous for its moonscape or rather striking geological features. Cappadocia owes its look to milions of years of erosion forming exquisite shapes in the volcanic rock.
My basecamp in Cappadocia was in a small village of Çavuşin, which was unexpectedly small and empty. Only a few tourists could be spotted riding horses or quads.
Çavuşin is a small and peaceful villlage. I felt a little out of place. Women can be spotted working in the yard or garden wearing traditional Turkish headscarves and loose pantalon. Men sit reading papers, drinking tea, smoking and playing some game – or just smoking… at a bufe near the mosque. It seems in early September they are already out of season. The hotels and suites are tourist friendly. The staff speak fulent English and take good care of the guests needs.
Cappadocia is an amazing place. It literally looks like a different planet.
Not only is the landscape foreign and so unlike anything I’ve ever seen but also the time seems to have stopped many years ago. It was not so long ago that people stopped living in the cave houses due to erosion and danger it was posing. People live a slow, peaceful life, seem to be detached from the civilisation doing work they and their predecessors have done for many years. Striking are the vast areas of desert-like landscape, ubiquitous sand and dry rock.
It is also sad that this land became home to early Christians running from their persecutors. Or I should say it was luck that they found a safe place where they could settle down and survive?
From a tourist point of view, it is relatively tourist-friendly. In most places it is possible to communicate in English, there is tourist information, leaflets boards with description and explanation of the sites and of course plenty of souvenir vendors throwing prices out of the blue and expecting you to bargain. This piece, I admit, I like the least.
From Çavuşin, it was possible to visit most of the landmarks and tourist places in Cappadocia (stay tuned for more posts on the below places):
Kaymaklı– an underground city
Derinkuyu – an underground city
Ihlara Valley – a valley with hundreds of churches carved in the rock; located around 80 km from Çavuşin
Göreme – open air museum, a beautiful panorama
Uçhisar and Ortahisar – lookout towers, numerous hotels
Hacıbektaş – a dervish monastery
Nevşehir – to me a place where it’s virtually impossible to buy alcohol
A small lokanta in Çavuşin – it didn’t look inviting but the food was cheap and good.