Adventuring in an Underground City

Finally, I finished the last part of my Cappadocia Series.

It’s been a lot of fun making them and I hope you enjoyed watching all of them.

 

I also hope that you will have fun with the last video.

Thank you for reading and watching!

Merveille.

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My first Hot Air Balloon Ride!

Finally! I was dying to edit all my hot air balloon videos into one because I had sooo many wonderful shots! Now, here it is. Enjoy watching!

 

Thank you for watching reading!

Leave a comment or a thumbs-up if you liked it and feel free to subscribe!

Meveille.

The most instagrammable place I have been to!

Because Cappadocia is such a gorgeous place, there can not be enough posts about it. So here is my first video about this fantasy world <3

 

I hope you enjoyed it!

Leave it a thumbs-up and subscribe to my channel if you liked what you saw :) I would be really happy about that.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Merveille.

Magic of Cappadocia – Day 3

Friday, September 16th, 2016:

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.

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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.

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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.

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The valley was the biggest we had visited in Cappadocia, and it probably is one of the biggest ones there.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Final rating:

Sightseeing: 5/5

Food: 4/5
Shopping: 3/5
Nightlife: 2/5
Transportation: 3/5

Magic of Cappadocia: Day 2

Thursday, September 15th, 2016:

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.

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The sunrise

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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.

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Selfie with the pilot and the table with the refreshments

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Group picture with our certificates

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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.

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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:

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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:

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:

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Looks like a face :’D

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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

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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 :)

Thanks for exploring with me.

Travel well!

Magic of Cappadocia, Day 1

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:

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Our hammam bathroom

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The view of our hotel’s rooftop

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The little diwan corner

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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.

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Another Cave Hotel

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Enjoying the sunset

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We found a dog <3

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.

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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:

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Lentils soup
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Pottery Kebab

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Pastry that looks like roses
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The pumpkin dessert

After our fulfilling dinner, we strolled through the streets a little bit and came across some interesting stands:

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The first chinese restaurant I have ever seen in Turkey :’D

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

Travel Blog Posts Plans

So, I am finally back from vacation (since the beginning of this month actually, but I had some things to do), and I have a lot of posts planned already. Can’t wait to write about everything I did and saw. If you were following my instagram, you have already seen a lot of the pictures. But I promise proper posts with information :)

So here are my blog plans for the following days and weeks:

  1. My Cappadocia Trip in 3 Parts
  2. My short vacation on the beach in Cesme
  3. My trip to Ephesus
  4. Top Things to do in Izmir

I am especially looking forward for number 1 since it has easily become one of the most beautiful and magical places I have ever been to.

I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks for reading!

Travel Anticipation: Cappadocia, Turkey

Today is the day I am flying to Turkey for a 3-week vacation. And next week Wednesday, on the 14th, I am finally gonna visit the famous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.

Source: nationalparksofturkey.com

We are gonna stay 3 nights there in probably one of the most amazing hotels, called local cave house hotel:

Source: booking.com

Here is what I want to see and do in this beautiful place:

1 Hot Air Balloon Ride:

Source: toursforturkey.com

This is something, I have always dreamed of. It looks and sounds so adventurous, at the same time it looks beautiful in the sky and I can imagine to have one of the best views you can get when you think of a hot air balloon ride.

The rides are pretty expensive, I have to warn you, but it takes 1 hour, includes a pick-up service, breakfast, sparkling wine celebration and you even get a certificate.

2 Underground City Kaymakli/Derinkuyu:

These underground cities were built during the time of the Crusaders, where Christians were looking for a hiding place and built these cities in the underground. I wanna know more about them, hopefully when I get there next week. And this is how they look like:

Kaymakli; Source: voyelletour.com

 

Derinkuyu; Source: Alasayvan.net

3 Üchisar Castle:

From this ancient stone castle, you can have a perfect view over Cappadocia.

Source: staticpanoramio.com

4 Sunset at Rose Valley:

This valley is famous for its red colour and is a nice place to explore.

Source: travelturkey.com

5. Have a panorama view at Pigeon Valley:

Here, you can’t pass by vehicles, so you have to walk and explore everything on foot. There is apparently a panorama view and many typical trees with the evil eye beade decoration. And, of course, many cute pigeons.

Source: travelshus.com

6. Open Air Museum and National Park:

I will think about these when I am there and maybe ask the hotel reception about these two sights.

National park, Source: holidaycheck
Source: twoandahalfbackpacks.wordpress.com

7. Visit a pottery and a carpet shop:

Even if I won’t buy anything, which I probably won’t because the carpets are especially huge and expensive, I would just like to see all the different varieties of carpets they offer. The potter shops, on the other hand, might be more affordable and I would maybe think about buying one.

Source: themostalive.com
Source: ardunward.com
Source: 123rf.com
turkishtravelblog.com

8 Watch the whirling dervishes:

In the evening, there are some organized turkish nights, especially for tourists that come from Japan, China or Korea who are interested in this foreign culture. Still, although I am turkish myself, I have never seen the swirling dervishes before, and I would like to experience this magical moment.

Source: youtube.com

I think these are the main things I wanna do in this beautiful place. I am sure it is gonna be different from my prior trips to Turkey. I am already so excited to go back to my second home country and do all these things I have always wanted to.