Leaving Istanbul to fly to Cappadocia Turkey, we realize that the weather wasn’t going to be on our side. The distance is about 750kms, so a flight is the best way to travel to this destination. The rain had no intention of slowing down, with umbrellas in hand, a backpack for the day we are now on our way to the airport. I’m super excited, a bucket list item is just about to happen, witnessing the fantastic early morning take off that occurs twice per day! It’s about an hour’s drive from the Nevsehir Airport to Gorham (70kms) in the shuttle service that came with the tour we had purchased. Our first stop is a quick coffee break while we pick up some guests at a local hotel.
I’m super stoked, the rain is stopped, the weather is just how it should have been at 3am. The bad news came, Roland, unfortunately, the hot air balloons will not take off this morning. What a bummer this news was, I had been dreaming of this for such a long time. The rest of the day is well planned out for us, we make our way to Gorham, a fairytale piece of heaven is exposed to us. The above photo depicts the most beautiful view I could ever imagine in my life. I only researched the hot air balloons taking off and nothing else. Check the work that went into these homes, dating back to 1600.
A closer look at how they built these homesteads, they would start scrapping the lava rocks, yes I did say scrape all the excess to create the walls, floors and ceilings. The tour guide we had spoken French, English and Turkish, and taking care of our needs throughout this tour was his number one agenda. We could tell he was full of knowledge, it was bursting out of him like a kid blowing bubbles. He was an investment well worth it. He took his time, explaining every detail from each era, from the monks take over, the churches being involved and the kings. This one is really worth buying for its price – that took us to many places like the Pidgeon Valley, Ilhara Valley – which is said to be one of the world’s largest natural canyons. Lunch was a part of the tour, we arrived on the second level of the restaurant, a large patio that opens up over Gorham and saw a lot of other valleys and chimneys.
It has lots of fairy chimneys and ancient cave houses dated 6th century BC, lots of churches and evidence from the Christian and Ottoman influence in the region… It’s a unique cultural and historical heritage, not only in the Open Air Museum but also all over Cappadocia. Touring the area, we stopped in to visit a still functioning home now turned into a showpiece depicting how they lived many years ago. I cannot remember the gentleman’s name that owned this original home he is the gent in one of the photos below, with our tour guide he could communicate to us and answer our questions regarding his life. After he retired from farming, he decided to open up his home that accommodates tourists year-round. He has many souvenirs, lots of Turkish rugs, and a personality to make us enjoy our stop in his home. This one experience is really worth buying for its price – that took us to many places like the Pidgeon Valley, Ilhara Valley – which is said to be one of the world’s largest natural canyons. We had lunch and saw a lot of other valleys, chimneys and exciting places.
The small shops are located everywhere, you can take home at a reasonable cost many local Turkish souvenirs like the lamps shown below or the evil eye that you may have noticed in some of the photos. They will package or ship them home for your convenience (reputable seller only).
Lunch with a view is served at a local restaurant that gave us the best lookout to the cityscape of Gorham. We experienced the local culinary dishes, like hummus, Papaz Yahnisi (Turkish beef stew) and Baklava. This was a superb experience adding to the view and new friendships.
Now, you can’t do a tour in Gorham without hopping on the back of a camel, being my first and not my last time. I enjoyed the ride as short and sweet it was. It’s given me the “addiction.” Now I want to travel in the desert sand dunes on the back of a camel. Just an idea 🙂
Taking a full adventure tour with a company means that it’s well planned, the new friends we made during the trip also had the same agenda; do, see and try as much as you can in one jam-packed day. We enjoyed the demonstration, and even our friend decided to make a vase, fail. Lol. None of us had the hang at pottery making. It still was fascinating, the shopping in the gallery was so much better than our attempted pottery making. Check the photos below.
As the day is coming to an end, it’s time to pack up and head to the airport. We didn’t even want to return, the weather was clear. We knew that the hot air balloons would be taking off by the time we’d be checked in at the airport. I’m not happy, but tomorrow we’re off to another destination. As I write this blog almost 2 years after we are back in Canada, I’ve had 2 attempts with hot air balloon lift offs, both were cancelled due to the weather, and that is just my luck.
Till next time,