At least that’s the beach we went to. It is a public beach famous for its turquoise to light-blue water and a long beach you can take a long walk at. The Sheraton Hotel is located on that beach as well. Convince yourselves:
2. Stroll through the soap-smelling streets of Alacati:
The streets of Alacati are famous throughout Turkey. It is considered as a little version of Mykonos. It is guaranteed that you will fall in love with that place. Every corner offers a perfect photographic background. The cobble-stone streets mix perfectly together with the aegean beach flair. After a long stroll and some photo-sessions, the best way to relax is to sip some coffee at a corner cafe, feast on some turkish sweets or some western cupcakes. Be warned though, the prices are a bit higher than at usual restaurants in Turkey. But totally worth it. Also, don’t forget to visit the windmills.
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3. Visit the Marina at the City Centre of Cesme:
Here, you can find all the touristy shops ligned after each other when walking down to the Marina and the Yacht Club. I bough a beautiful white-purple shell and some ice cream on the way to the Marina. When you arrive there, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of the yachts parked there. You can sit in a cafe or a restaurant with a view to the sea, or you can hike up the Cesme Castle and get a great view over the bay.
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4. Have a turkish breakfast with organic foods:
The hotel we stayed at offered a organic breakfast every morning which was so yummy, I am dreaming about it now. They had different kinds of bread to offer, hard boiled egg, tea, different kinds of cheese, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, cream, honey, olives and different kinds of jam which were so delicious and exciting to taste. The most delicious jam I had was lemon jam, something I had never eaten before. I am generally more the nutella kind of person, but this lemon jam would definitely make it on my breakfast table. They also had rose jam that I enjoyed a lot.
5. Relax at the Ayayorgi Beach:
This is actually not a public beach, so you have to pay for it, but it was out of season, so we had free entry, but still we had to eat or drink something in return. The prices were quite high of course, but we enjoyed the day and the beach was as calm as a lake.
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I hope I could give you a little insight into life at Cesme. It still has many other things to offer that I didn’t have time for like the Boylik Beach, Altinkum Beach, the Surfer’s Bay (since it is considered as Turkey’s Surfer’s Paradise due to its winds), and the possibility to hop on a ship towards the greek island of Chios.
That day, we wanted to take the green tour, which included the underground city of Derinkuyu as one of the must-sees on my Cappadocia list, Ihlara Valley, and the small pigeon valley which was also on my to-see list.
Although we didn’t fly that day, our morning started pretty early anyway, at around 6.30, so that we could watch the hot air balloons from our hotel’s rooftop this time. It is a different feeling to watch it from the ground than from the air. It’s when you get one of those feelings of realizing how surprisingly small you are, and how simple things can make you feel the happiest.
Some of these photos were taken with my phone, but they still turned out to be amazing. I just was left in awe the second day in a row. Seeing and hearing the sounds of the balloon fire from your bed in the early morning is one of the best things to wake up to. It was weird seeing the workers at the hotel unimpressed :’D
Anyway, after waving the last balloon goodbye (I mean it literally: few balloons came so close we could see the people in there), we went downstairs to have breakfast.
Again, we were picked up in front of our hotel at around 8 am, so we still had plenty of time to get ready.
Our trip to the underwater city began and on the bus ride there I met a girl from China, Flora. We started chatting the whole bus ride through and became quite good friends on that trip. Our guide was very nice as well and he knew so many things about Cappadocia, the Byzantine and Ottoman history, it was quite impressive. These things are really nice about a booked tour.
When we arrived at the underground city, our tour guide first told us that people with sicknesses like Asthma or a bad circulation system should think about going in twice. I got nervous since I do have Asthma, but I really wanted to see the underground city. I did have my asthma spray with me and I could easily get outside if I felt sick after the first part of our tour. I took some photos during our visit there but it was hard to take photos in the dark, especially when you are feeling so out of breath after walking up and down the tiny, steep stairs.
And for your information, the air in the underground was not bad at all, quite the opposite. It was pretty good. It had a very good air circulation system that the christian refugees back in the days invented.
The visit in the underground city didn’t last too long. It was a good amount of time in my opinion. We saw everything and walked a lot. It was definitely worth coming here.
Once again we found ourselves on the bus, on the way to Ihlara Valley. I haven’t heard of this place before coming to Cappadocia, but since it was part of the green tour, I just gave it a try, and it was pretty worth it. More beautiful than the Open Air Museum of Göreme. This place had everything, from a small flowing river to the typical fairy chimneys surround the valley, it was like a fantasy world that someone like Peter Jackson could have created. We started with a lunch break before entering the valley and the food was quite delicious.
The valley was the biggest we had visited in Cappadocia, and it probably is one of the biggest ones there.
As you can see, the weather was changing quite a lot, so I was taking off and on several clothes :’D We were lagging behind from taking too many photos, but we soon found the others and after walking a few more minutes we took a tea break in the cutest place ever:
I could have stayed here for the rest of the day, but unfortunately, our break was very short and we had to get going soon again.
Our next stop was the Selimiye Monastery, an open air cave monastery which was on the way to pigeon valley. We stopped there for like an hour and had free time to climb around, take photos and explore the cave house dwellings. This place had the most interesting house dwellings I have seen on that trip. Here are some pictures:
Climbing here was not as easy as I first imagined, but it was a lot of fun. After this station, we still had the pigeon valley on our route, and that place was also a highlight. It was as small as love valley, but in my opinion so much more beautiful.
There was also a small box with seeds that you could feed to the pigeons for a little price of 1 Lira. Of course I did that :’D
The pigeons here seem to look healthier than the ones I am used to in Germany. I like how tourism makes the pigeons be healthy and well-fed.
Anyway, the sun was about to set, so we took a last group picture and went back to the minibus. Unfortunately, I don’t have the group picture, but here are some nice snapshots of the sunset.
The last hours of our trip also meant saying goodbye to my dear friend. I wouldn’t see her again the next day because we were leaving the next day.
Back at the hotel we rested a bit and soon went out to eat at topdeck restaurant that we booked a table at, by the recommendation of our hotel’s receptionist. When we entered the small but cozy and good-smelling restaurant, we immediately got a homy-feeling. And after seeing the traditional interior design with the ground-tables and cushions, I fell in love with the place, no question.
The menu didn’t have many dishes on it, but that was a good sign for being a qualitative restaurant that only specializes on certain dishes and cooks everything from fresh ingredients. The food might not look like anything special, but it really tasted amazing, like something my mom could have cooked.
We had a cozy, great last meal that evening and when we finished, we slowly walked back to our hostel, stopping at some shops on the way, before saying goodbye to this beautiful place.
At the hostel, we had a small late night chat with the hostel owners. All of them were young men and so nice and hospitable. They kept on offering us sunflower seeds and sweet pastry. That’s something you will notice about turkey: the hospitability of hotel and restaurant employees.
I think we couldn’t have had a better last day at Göreme, especially after the highlight of the balloon flight the day before.
I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on my travel rants from Cappadocia.
For the next post you can expect a holiday guide for Cesme, surfer’s paradise of the aegean sea.
4.30 am – That’s how early the day started for me. I had to get up in the early and cool hours of the morning to get ready for my balloon flight. I should be picked up at 5 am in front of the hotel and then they brought us to the balloon base where the payment would take place and a breakfast was served. The breakfast room slowly filled up with many people from all over the world.
The breakfast was light with some sweet pastry and fruits, and coffee and juice for drinks. I finished quickly and couldn’t wait to finally go.
At around 6 we were supposed to get into the mini busses. After an approximately 10 minutes ride, we arrived at the place where all the balloons were blown up with fire. It looked magnificent with the bright warmth of the fire against the dark dawn of the morning.
For your information, I booked my flight via Butterfly Balloons. It is not as expensive as Voyager or Royal, but it offers everything that the other companies do as well. It was 100€ as opposed to 180€ or more from other companies. I booked the one for 16 people. There are 4 squares in one basket and there are 4 people in each square. It gets a bit stuffy, but it is fun getting to know all the people after landing.
We took flight before dawn, at abou 6.20 am. the flight lasts for one hour. Watching the sunset from atop the balloon was one of the most unbelievable things I have seen and done, especially against a moon-like fairytale landscape like the one in Cappadocia makes you immediately feel like living on a different planet.
I also took some photos, although they can never do justice to the real picture you get.
After landing, we had a champagne celebration with strawberries and some little cakes. We also got our flight certificates with our names on it :) That was a very nice gesture. I don’t regret any cent I spent for that flight, and I can really recommend anyone to take a balloon flight anywhere, especially in a place like Cappadocia.
Selfie with the pilot and the table with the refreshments
Group picture with our certificates
We were allowed to walk on the balloon after landing :D
After chatting with the other people and our pilot who was very nice and had a fun sense of humour, we were dropped off in front of our hostels again. It was only about 8 am. I had my second breakfast at the hotel and relaxed a bit before going for the next sight.
We wanted to go to the Göreme Open Air National Park. It is a good place to start when you want to admire the different stone formations and also wanna go inside some of the ancient caves that christians used to live in. It can be very interesting at the beginning, but I wouldn’t recommend you to stay there for hours. Göreme has many other sights to offer.
I was feeling very dizzy that morning, and needed another coffee and cake break at the exit of the park. Being sleepless is not a good condition if you wanna explore a place like Cappadocia.
Anyway, after the national park visit we wanted to see some valleys (love valley, red valley, fairy chimneys,…). They are all a part of the red tour as it was explained to us by our hotel receptionist. We asked a taxi driver how to get to the red valley, and he said that it was quite far away, a few kilometres and that we couldn’t walk there. So he offered us a deal: We should pay 50 lira (like 20 €) and he would drive us to all the stations of the red tour. We agreed and he drove us around. It was cheaper than a tour and we had more freedom to stay as long as we wanted, but of course, the background info was missing a bit, although the driver did know quite a few things. However, it was an advantage that we were turkish people. It would at least be 3 times more expensive if you were a foreigner.
Here are some pictures of the 3 stops we visited:
I would recommend the fairy chimney park that you can see on the last 3 pictures. You can walk around those huge stone formations and climb inside some of those.
After our tour, the driver also took us to a ceramic shop and then to a carpet shop. The latter one is way too expensive so we only had a short look. At the ceramic shop you can also find some cheaper pieces, as well as some expensive stuff. Everything is handmade and so beautifully delicate. Here are some snapshots:
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When we returned to the hotel, the weather started to get a bit gloomy. Actually, we weren’t finished yet, we still wanted to see Uchisar Castle but we had to take a bus there, and by the time we arrived there, it had started to rain. It was also a bit cold, so it was quite gloomy, and the pictures didn’t turn out very well:
Looks like a face :’D
On top of the Castle, we could have a view over the vast little town of Uchisar.
Uchisar Castle was not as interesting as I had imagined. There are some small rooms you can see, but other than those few ones, it is only going up to the roof.
After exiting the castle, we found some street vendors, selling dried fruits and nuts. we bought a few bags and left to take the bus back to our hotel.
We rested a little bit in our room before heading out for dinner. We found a restaurant that also sold Pide and sat down there. Actually, the taxi driver recommend this and we wanted to try it out. They also had the beef pottery here, but since I had that the other day, I opted for my other favourite dish: Pide
After the meal, we were too tired to even go to another place to have dessert or a coffee. We slowly walked back and fell asleep immediately.
The next day should be our final full day in this beautiful place. It is gonna be full of activities though, so don’t worry :)
Finally, I am able to write this post. I wasn’t able to after my vacation, since I didn’t have enough storage, but now that I have decided to upgrade, I can be as diligent as a bee again.
Let’s start with my short journeys throughout Turkey, first with one of the most magical cities I have ever seen.
Wednesday, September 14th 2016:
We started our morning and at noon, we headed to the airport in Izmir to catch our Pegasus flight to Kayseri. It was the first time I was in a plane that was flown by a female pilot, and it was one of the smoothest flights yet. Then again, the airport of Kayseri is tiny. It’s even smaller than some bus stations I have seen in China. One positive side about this was that you could quickly exit the “building” and look for some buses to Göreme. We were lucky to find one, although we haven’t booked any. They had some free space and took us with them.
The name of our Hotel was Local Cave House Hotel, and it was a wonderful place. Convince yourselves:
My first thought was that it looked like a moonscape with a pool at the bottom. The receptionists were all very friendly as well and provided us with all the information we needed about things to see and do. The breakfast in the morning was very delicious and everything from the cheese to the bread tasted like freshly made.
As you can see on the picture, the first thing I wanted to try was to swim in the swimming pool and also to take many pictures :D
After taking a shower, we actually wanted to look for food, but we were led along the beautiful streets to the sunset point, a place even above the rooftops of our hotel where you could watch the sun rise and set everyday. So we first decided to walk up there since it was early evening and just before sunset. On our way there, we took a lot of pictures, of course.
At the top, we remained for quite a long time before we were starving and headed downwards, on our way to find food.
And we were successful pretty fast. While we were trying to find our way back to the centre of Göreme, we came past a picturesque and lit up restaurant. It looked like they’d serve yummy food, so we immediately had a seat.
We ordered different menus, and I took the one with the lentil soup as an entree, pottery beef as a main, and rose pastry as dessert. My parents had a sort of pumpkin dessert which I tried and it was delicious. Here is some eyecandy:
After our fulfilling dinner, we strolled through the streets a little bit and came across some interesting stands:
We decided not to stay up too long, since I had to wake up early next morning, at around 4am to get ready for the balloon flight.
So you guys can look forward for the second Part of our trip which was probably one of the highlights of my life :’D
That day we went to Karsiyaka to go shopping a little bit. I only had 4 days left there, and my sister just recently came, so we wanted to look for accessoires. I found these:
Later, in the evening, my sister and me went to a restaurant to eat something, before meeting our cousin later on who would leave from work at 11pm.
My cousin Irem’s colleague took her by car and before he brought us three to Irem’s house, we went to drink something warm in a cafe nearby. The night got quite cold, so we wanted to warm up a little bit.
Late in the night we went to Irem’s home where she lives with her grandma and her father. We saw her dog and greeted her cute grandma who welcomed us so nicely.
We drank a bit Malibu-Cherry together and talked a little bit. Then went to bed at 2 or 3 am, because we wanted to wake up early the next morning to go swimming in the sea a little bit.
Saturday, 30th of August. Izmir:
We woke up early, at about 9 am. We wanted to take the bus to the sea. Before we went, we fed Irem’s dog and watched her grandma’s birds a little bit.
Without having a breakfast, we left. Irem suggested to have breakfast there by the sea to which we agreed.
After a 30-minutes busride, we arrived. It was a beautiful place. There was a pier and a cafe. If you eat there at the cafe, you could use the canvas chairs and seat cushions as you wanted to. So, at first we ate something there for breakfast.
After that, we went swimming in the sea.
The sea was really so beautiful. The perfect kind of sea that I like. Gets deep very fast, dark blue, and cool. We were in the water for about 30 minutes, then went out to get dry a little bit. We couldn’t stay too long because Irem had to go to work at 3 pm or so.
When we arrived, we went to shower and then dressed up. My sister and me returned home. My cousin went to the fair in Izmir, because that’s where she worked in the summer. In the evening, we wanted to visit her there and go to a concert from a famous turkish singer which took place there that day.
When the concert was over, and Irem left her work at 11 pm, we left to go to a bar nearby at the bar street.
It was a shot bar and we got free inject shots at the entrance.
We danced and had a lot of fun. These are the shots we ordered.
At about 1.30 am we left the bar and went to catch the bar. There, we got a bit stressed out, because we realized, that we had to fill up our bus cards. Irem hurried and ran to the next supermarket to charge it up and we waited for her. It was a marathon against time, because the bus should come in a few minutes. In the end, we caught the bus. However, it took quite long to arrived in the street nearby our house, because the bus stopped quite often.
At about 2.30 am we arrived at home and went to sleep immediately. I was so tired, and my feet hurt so badly.
Sunday, 31st of August. Izmir:
Today, Irem’s boyfriend wanted to take us out for breakfast. He picked us up at about 10 am. His friend was also there, so we went to a location to have breakfast and talk. His boyfriend is very nice and funny, also quite talkative. And his friend was also a very talkative person, so we always had something to talk about. Time flew by so fast while we sat there for about 3 hours, eating and talking :’D At 2 pm we had to leave, because Irem had to go work again. Her boyfriend drove us home and then he would take Irem to work.
In the evening, our aunt’s invited us to a wedding eve-party of their relatives. It took place in the back streets. We went there, but my sister, my cousin Funda and me only stayed for about an hour, then we went to our place to eat and drink a little bit. Half an hour later, our parents also returned and we all sat together, drank Malibu or tea, ate chocolate and talked. After midnight, they left for home as well.
Monday, 1st of August. Izmir:
That day, I packed my suitcase and the rest of the day I relaxed, drank tea, and continued reading “A Game of Thrones”.
Tuesday, 2nd of August. Izmir/Stuttgart:
That day, we went to Karsiyaka for the last time to shop for the last few things to pack, like gifts for friends and family. We left early in the morning to have breakfast there.
After breakfast, we went to buy some turkish delight.
We bought a mixed package of turkish delight from here. I especially like the ones with pomegranate and orange.
Later, we met with Irem again for the last time. It wouldn’t be a long absence, because she would also do her Erasmus this year in Prague, and we want to visit her on New Year’s Eve. At about 2pm we made it home. We prepared the last things and then left for the airport at 4pm. There, my suitcase had overweight, so we had to leave some things, or put them in my backpack. The rest of the day didn’t go as I imagined. The next mishap was the belated plane. My plane should take off at 7 pm, but it got delayed for over an hour. Of course, everyone there stressed out, and looked for a wifi – code to write their friends and relatives who would pick them up when landed. Me and a woman with her older son looked at the kiosk and found a wifi code. I even saw a girl I knew from my old school who was also in the same plane as me. Finally, at 8pm it took off. The whole flight over, there was a little child crying all the time. When we landed, my head was about to explode. I arrived at 10 pm in Stuttgart, and until I got out, it was about 10.30pm. Yet, another problem: When I took my luggage, I noticed a big, sticky stain on it. I almost exploded of rage. Some idiot probably put jelly or something sweet in his/her luggage, and that stuff leaked out and onto my baggage. Later, my father brought some wet tissues from the toilets to wipe it off. I was so pissed off by the turkish people myself, because they always do shit like that. Taking food from Turkey in their luggages. No wonder that something like that happens. Well, after raging for minutes, my father calmed me down and we went home. I was too tired to get out my stuff from my luggage, so I did it the next day.
All in all, I had great vacations, with lots of yummy food, good weather, nice books to read and a lot of people I met.
That day, we went to the bazaar and I bought some cute jewellery for me and my friends. The Deathly Hallows bracelet you see there was purchased that day, and I am so happy <3
Thursday, 14th of August. Izmir:
That day, we went to the newly opened shopping mall, Optimum. I haven’t been there yet, and I only heard positive things about it. My aunt also joined us. When arrived I looked inside an outlet tent from a shoes brand called Bambi. It is a famous brand there, and they really have beautiful shoes. I actually found some sandals for 40 TL there. They are quite pretty :)
We looked around the shops a little bit. Then, my cousin from Germany called. She was also in Turkey, even close to the mall, so we said she can come see us there if she wants. She came with her husband while we were upstairs eating. It was funny seeing her of all places in Turkey :D
After eating, we continued to go into some more shops. I fell in love with a shop called OXXO. There, I found a leopard kimono. Yeah, I know, I am a leopard freak :D
Towards the late afternoon, we got tired and called it a day. To rest a little bit, we went to the cafe Özsüt. I just drank a coffee drink.
In the evening, the Hunger Games was coming on TV so we watched it. My aunt was amazed by the story, but my mum didn’t like it and stopped watching -.- I am definitely not a little bit like my mum :’D
Friday, 15th of August. Izmir:
That day we went to the coiffeur. I wanted to have my legs waxed. I only paid 10TL for both legs. Thats about 4€… for that price you can’t even get your eyebrows plucked here in Germany… It is so expensive ><
After that, we strolled through the shops and then went to eat something.
Monday, 18th of August. Izmir:
That day, I met my cousin Irem again. She was a bit stressed out and tired, but we went to the cinema to watch Lucy (later about that movie in a separate post), and later to a restaurant to eat something.
Early in the evening, we parted. My cousin was just too tired to walk around any longer.
Tuesday, 19th of August. Izmir:
That day, my sister should arrive during the night. I spent the whole day reading together with my aunt.
Wednesday, 20th of August. Izmir:
We spent that day at Karsiyaka with my sister. My aunt also came with us. After that, we went to Optimum again so that my sister could also see it.
When arriving home, we prepared our suitcase. The next day we would head to Marmaris for a 5-star hotel. More about it in the next post. Unfortunately, I am too tired for today, so I am going to sleep now.
That day, the president was to come to Alsancak to held a speech. My mum is a big fan of him, so we went there in the afternoon. We went shopping before that, and ate a pizza. I found some cool leopard trousers from Zara, and we bought a lot of accessoires.
While my mum was at the speech, I strolled around the place, and then sat down inside a cafe called Özsüt. It is famous for its tasty cakes.
My mum left the speech early in the evening. She also sat next to me and drank a cup of tea. Then we headed home with the ferry.
When we arrived home, our aunt called and told us that she would come to us with her daughter. We made plans to go to the beach the next day. We went to the same beach town where we went on Wednesday.
Saturday, 2nd of August, Izmir:
We left the house in the late hours of the morning. In the afternoon we arrived and at first we ate something. After that, my cousin and me went to look for a bed&breakfast. We also found a cute stay. 80 TL per night, so each of us had to pay 20 TL. That was quite cheap.
After we put our stuff into our room, we went to the beach. It was already 6 pm or something like that, so most of the people were already gone. Unfortunately, the sea wasn’t calm that day, but we still wanted to go swimming. In the evening, we were too tired to do anything except eating dinner.
Sunday, 3rd of August, Izmir:
That day, I watched a lot of animals like cats and bumblebees before heading to the beach :’D There, I read and swam in the sea most of the time. In the evening, my cousin had bought a bottle of vodka and we drank it after dinner. Then, we decided to go outside to stroll around the streets and sit in a bar.
Monday + Tuesday, 4th+5th of August. Izmir:
Wednesday, 6th of August. Izmir:
This was the day we returned back home again. We left the bed & breakfast in the morning and went to a cafe by the sea to have breakfast there. The weather was hot, and it was not easy with all those bags we had to carry. But in the end, we made it home in the late afternoon hours. I was just too tired for anything.
Thursday, 7th of August, Izmir:
While we were at the beach the last few days, my father’s cousin called us and invited us to his house. He just got a daughter, and we also wanted to see her. So that day, we decided to visit him. For that, we had to take the ferry. When we arrived, he picked us up.
He lives inside of a site. It is a condominium with a park and a pool included which can be used by all the people living there. When we arrived, the daughter was still sleeping, but later she woke up, and she is such a cute, tiny girl *o*
Friday, 8th of August. Izmir:
I spent that day entirely at the pool, Reading, sweating, swimming a little, and repeating all over.
Saturday, 9th of August. Izmir:
This was our last day at our relative’s house. We packed our things and then left in the afternoon, but not before saying goodbye to the newborn kittens that live in the garden there <3
Sunday, 10th of August. Izmir:
That day, we went to our aunt’s. They invited us, and it was right on time, because I had to hand in an essay for the next day, and hadn’t even begun writing. We went there, and I spent the whole day writing my 4-page-essay. In the evening, I was quite exhausted. I sat on the balcony and talked with my aunt, uncle and mum a little bit, then went to sleep.
Monday, 11th of August. Izmir:
Because I was so busy the day before, my cousin wanted to take me out for dinner together with her friends. I already knew two of them before, and there was also another girl who was also married just like my cousin. At first, we drank some turkish mocca in the afternoon. The two friends of my cousin were also there. At 7pm or so, we went outside to eat pizza. It was a cute, calm location. After that, we went to a cafe by the sea to drink something.
In the evening, we returned home again.
This was already the second part of my holiday’s wrap up. The third pat includes a lot of shopping :)