Welcome to Cappadocia, a historical region in central Anatolia . . this region is home not only to amazing landscapes, but also the hot air balloon ride that lured me to Turkey in the first place :)
We took a short domestic flight from Istanbul to stay in the town of Göreme. We stayed at a lovely cave hotel named Kelebek. Arriving late at night in the dark, the first image below is the sight we woke up to right out of our “cave” window! After admiring the landscape we headed out to first visit the Göreme Open Air Museum, a world heritage site, and then hiked the gorgeous Rose Valley. It was great fun to explore the valleys, rock formations and fairy chimneys you see in the photos!
Later, we rented a scooter to explore the region a bit quicker – we made our way to the top of Uchisar castle (truly unbelievable views!) and caught a hill-top sunset while enjoying a Turkish beer.
The next morning we were picked up at dawn for the main event . . a hot air balloon ride!! We took in the sunrise, the amazing landscapes of Cappadocia from above, and floated through the fairy chimneys. It was ABSOLUTELY beautiful . . relaxing . . and not even nerve wracking for someone who does not particularly love heights ;)
These sedimentary rocks underlying the Cappadocia region were formed from ancient volcanoes approximately 6 million years ago. The rocks of Cappadocia eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia region carved out houses, churches, and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits . . did you notice all the little windows and doors carved out?