Monday, July 31, 2017

Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

I would be lying if I told you if I didn’t come to Cappadocia because of all the photos of rising hot air balloons that filled the sky. In fact, I’ve actually been saving my hot air balloon experience for this exact moment.

You would think that there isn’t much to do in this remote area of the world, but that’s actually the beauty of it all. Cappadocia is generally a stop in one’s Turkey itinerary solely for this purpose, but I’m so glad I made it our only destination for a full 5 days.

Galerie Ikman / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com
Turkish Tea Carpet Shop / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comMagic Carpet Shop Galerie Ikman / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comTurkish Carpet Galerie Ikman / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

Wearing: Zimmermann top, Black Crane linen skirt and Common Projects sneakers.

Dibek Clay Pot Restaurant Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comGoreme Town / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comGoreme Town / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comHot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comHot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com
Hot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comHot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comHot Air Balloon Sunrise / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comGoreme Town / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comGoreme Rooftop View / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comGoreme Cave / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

Wearing: Loup Charmant waterfall dress, Mango slides, and Cult Gaia bamboo bag.

Sunrise at Sunset Point Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comSunrise at Sunset Point Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

Wearing: Free People dress, Mango slides and Cult Gaia bamboo bag.

Sultan Cave Suite Hotel Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comSultan Cave Suite Hotel Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

Wearing: Grana silk tank, Aritzia pants, Chanel WOC, and Salvatore Ferragamo flower heel slides.

Museum Hotel Lil'a / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

We stayed at a pretty cave hotel called Sultan Cave Suites in the town called Goreme. It was conveniently located to the Open Air Museum and a few other attractions (Underground CityUchisar Castle, and Pigeon Valley). 

While we were there, we were lucky that our hotel's restaurant, Seten, is actually one of the best in the area. We ate at the dining place on the first night and for the rest of the trip, we discovered that they were able to bring the food directly to our room. Nothing like being able to fine dine in your bath robe underneath the open sky. It was probably not the best place to stargaze, but that’s what we did every night we were there. We would set up dinner on our cave hotel balcony and shared some food with the stray cats that came by, while the stars replace candle lights.

I've actually already shared most of the stories along the journey via Instagram, so I won't bore you with them again. But for the most part, we were there during a time right when Ramadan just finished, meaning everyone had returned home (elsewhere) for the holidays. We had the whole town practically to ourselves and although the sky wasn't filled with balloons, we still saw some of the best sunrises we've ever seen thanks to the valley landscape of the town (especially from Sunset Point). It was actually really hard NOT to wake up every day just to witness and have a humble Turkish breakfast at our hotel's rooftop that's covered with beautiful rugs and featured the best balloon view in town.

Goreme itself is quite quaint and charming in its own way. The people are so just so lovely and kind (I know, so opposite of the things the media will tell you about Turkey). Like every tourist location, people will ask you to come visit their shop and check out their restaurants, but no one was pushy or was I ever overwhelmed by people approaching me. In fact, it felt safer than Europe in my opinion.

I had the magic carpet shopping trip of my life at Galerie Ikman. I do have to say, I got really lucky because Shun and I left a great impression on the owner and his father, so we ended up getting a really good deal on a silk carpet. I highly recommend just coming to a shop being very respectful and genuinely curious to learn about the crafts of the people. We also got the whole place to ourselves to photograph and they even brought us tea to enjoy while we looked at a million carpets.

By now, it should be clear that I plan all of my travels around the restaurants and food places that I want to try. For Cappadocia, it was no exception. We discovered a cute homemade clay pot restaurant called Dibek for lunch, but some locals also recommended Sedef. In our short trip, we also got to fit in Lil'a, one of the top restaurants in Cappadocia located at the Museum Hotel in Uchisar. But having experienced a real local meal cooked and shared with some locals the day before, we definitely didn't see much of a difference in taste.
Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Breakfast / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Goreme Breakfast / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comCappadocia Sunrise Hot Air Balloons / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comSultan Cave Suite Hotel / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comCave Hotel / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comOpen Air Museum Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comOpen Air Museum Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comOpen Air Museum Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comTurkish Cab Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comUchisar Castle Camel / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comAvanos Pottery Town / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comAvanos Pottery Master / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comAvanos Pottery / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comAvanos Tour Outfit / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com
Wearing: Madewell top, Amo Denim jeans, Common Projects sneakers, Ray-Ban hexagonal mirror sunnies, and Proenza Schouler PS11 bag.
Clay Pottery / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comPottery Spinning in Avanos / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comPottery Making in Avanos / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.comTurkish Cab / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com

Personal growth is something that's hard to notice. Although I was only in Cappadocia for a week, I learned so many new things and discovered some pretty interesting things about myself that made me feel like I grew a lot in just a short period of time.

On the morning of my hot air balloon ride (we went with Voyagers Balloon), my stomach was quite queazy. I wasn't sure if I was actually going to be able to do it, but it was actually so peaceful. You could hardly tell you were that high up and it literally feels like you're softly floating despite the wind changes at different altitude layers. It was as magical as I hoped it would be and one of the highlights of my life so far.

I found my new calling for pottery spinning in the town of Avanos near Goreme. When I quit my job last July, I remember signing up for a class and somehow forgot and never made it. So this was something that really made me feel like the past year had come full circle.

Although I'm not much a nature activity person, the rock formations and the views from the top of many of the attractions in Goreme and Uchisar opened my eyes to the thrill of hiking.

My ability to connect and communicate with others who are different than I am have also improved drastically. As someone who speaks really fast and doesn't have much patience, I've learned to observe a little more and be more mindful of the way I talk so that I can better express what I'm saying when having a meaningful conversation with a local.

Going to Turkey was a pretty last minute and serendipitous decision for Shun and me, as it was the only location between New York and Tokyo that we could meet up conveniently. This trip to Cappadocia wasn't just another check off my bucket list, but a fulfilling one that I'll cherish for a while.

Hot Air Balloon Rising Goreme / Cappadocia, Turkey Photo Diary / FOREVERVANNY.com


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