For travel lovers such as myself there is always a bucket list of travel destinations closest to the heart, and then another list that contains every other place on earth, literally.
In my bucket list are the places that I feel a special connection towards, and that I have an urge to visit for various reasons. The place can be of historical importance, culturally influential, or, simply so beautiful, that you can not resist it. Well, let’s just say that Turkey’s Cappadocia represents each of these categories.
It’s history is long and rich, culture diverse, and scenery so beautiful that it takes your breath away. What is more profound is the fact that the landscape of Cappadocia allows you to experience activities so particular for this destination, that those activities alone are reasons good enough to visit it.
Reasons to Love Cappadocia
History and Culture
Etymology of the word Cappadocia has its origin in the Greek language, beside Turkish, and it’s a name for a historical region in central Anatolia, in Turkey. The name was traditionally used in Christian sources for various reason throughout history, but today it defines an international tourism concept regarding unique historical and cultural heritage, as well as natural wonders.
As I previously mentioned, the history of Cappadocia is long and rich, spanning even from the Bronze Age. In the late Bronze Age it was known as Hatti, a homeland of Hittite power. After its crumble in the 6th century BC, it was ruled by a feudal aristocracy regime, which roughly translated means that the aristocracy dwelled in strong castles and fortresses, while keeping the peasants in a servile condition, which afterwards led to foreign slavery.
Later on, Cappadocia was a part of the Persian empire, then a Roman and Byzantine province, but what interests us most at this point is today’s, Turkish Cappadocia. With the rise of Turkish power in Anatolia, Cappadocia slowly became a tributary to the Turkish states, that were established to the east and west, with the population being converted to Islam, with the remainder forming the Cappadocia Greek population.
The area is popular with tourists for obvious reasons. As aforementioned, Cappadocia is filled with areas with unique geological, historic and cultural features just like the whole of Turkey, which can offer a lot with its social and cultural capitals and nature oasis for hunter lovers or beautiful summer destinations.
Due to my educational background in archeology and social anthropology, I am automatically drawn to places with an ancient and mysterious aura, filled with the most peculiar sights.
The four cities that can truly satisfy your curiosity and thirst for knowledge concerning history and culture are Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray and Nigde. But, fairy chimneys enrich you in terms of wonders. My god, if there is anything considered magical, than it’s this phenomenon.
What’s stranger and more beautiful than rocks and stones shaped into stems that rise out of the earth, looking mushroom-like?
Another motive to visit this place is its photogenicity. I love landscapes and natural light, but in order to get those perfect cadres, the natural conditions can be extremely demanding, more often than not. Now, for an average tourist that is a deal breaker, meaning that they usually want to see more and capture more images, in the shortest time frame possible, without bending over their backs to do it.
Well, in Cappadocia you won’t have to struggle. Why? Well, you see, as I mentioned before, Cappadocia offers a rather unique attraction in terms of sightseeing that seems as if it’s dropped out of a Jules Verne’s novel and that’s hot air ballooning.
Hot Air Ballooning
Since Cappadocia represents a landscape that you most certainly have not witnessed in your lifetime, the best way to soak in everything it offers is in a hot air balloon.
By being up above, you become mesmerized by the spectacular and surreal landscape that lies before you. While you slowly drift over fairy chimneys, valleys scattered with pigeon houses, orchards and vineyards, it’s impossible to get a bad photo.
And those balloons? Now that’s an experience not to be missed. It’s one thing to fly a remote controlled airship, such as drone or an RC Blimp, and a whole other story to be actually lifted of the ground, peacefully floating in the air while photographing at the same time! You have to admit, it’s an experience on the more personal level, not to mention that you feel as if you have drifted back into the past when hot air ballooning was a main pastime for the wealthy elite.
So, if you’re interested in the once-in-a-lifetime experience, then Cappadocia is the place to go!