Cappadocia is a history rich region in the middle of Turkey. It is most known for its unusual geography, created by volcanic rock erosion, which laid on the soil more than 2 billion years ago.
This landscape is completed with Erciyes mountain, which used to be a volcano and has a peak of the 3916 m high. Over the history people have found shelter in these rock. They put a lot of work and hollowed and shaped the rocks to provide a livable space. Today everything can be visited and it’s open for tourists.
In this 800 square km area, there are 8 underground cities. Ağırnas underground city is one of these cities, which I visited there. The ducts of the city were digged deep in the earth, maintaining a temperature of 10 degrees, while outside were around 35 degrees.
Goreme is one of the cities in this amazing topography and history rich region, where is an open air museum (Goreme Open Air Museum). The museum has preserved many of the hollowed rock houses and churches. Tourist can step inside and admire the ingenuity of those first orthodox christians which found shelter inside them more than 2 thousand years ago( 4th century BC).
Red Valley is a magical panoramic spot, of which no photograph can make justice. It’s about that special feeling you get when you just sit there and chase the sun.
Every evening before the sunset, a guard sells tickets for each person who wants to drive up to the panoramic point and enjoy the show. (The price of the ticket was of 2TL in 2015). The ticket promises “the most beautiful sunset”. Indeed it is hard to describe and compare this unique place, because is something like I’ve never seen before. The perfection of each sunray touching the rugged earth.
Why you should book a hot air balloon ride
Although is not a cheap thing to do for Turkey, is definitely worth it. There is no way you are discovering the vast and special Cappadocia and not enjoying a hot air balloon. Another thing which makes this place pretty special are the over 100 balloons rising in the same time. Combine that with feeling of being in one of them. I don’t know any other place in the world where you can see something like this.
If you are not in the balloon or you’ve been already there is something else you must do. The second best thing to do at sunrise is to go to the same Red Valley panoramic point and be fascinated by the magical show of the balloons. At sunrise there is nobody, and it will feel like magic.
I recommend spending 2 days in Goreme.
Wake up before sunset each day. Once to get in a balloon and once to go and admire the panoramic show of the colorful balloons. And in the evening don’t forget to be hypnotized by the sunset.
I do miss it.