Before I continue, I have a confession to make. All this while I thought Cappadocia is a state or city and I was searching high on low for it on the map that we were given on the bus. It was only a couple of days later when I googled that I found that Cappadocia is actually a region in Central Anatolia which include Nevsehir, Kayseri, Kirsehir, Aksaray and Nigde provinces. No wonder I couldnt find it on the map. Duh...
I have heard so much about Cappadocia and apart from Pamukkale it is a popular tourist destination because of its uniqueness in geology. Due to the eruption of ancient volcanoes million years ago as well as erosion in the course of time, the earth produced hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like form. Actually, they look more like mushrooms to me. You know, Korean king mushroom!!! Anyhow, there are still visible traces of ancient houses carved from the volcanic rocks. There are also cave hotels and cave restaurants available for tourists.
The best way to view the amazing earth natural formation is either on the hot-air balloon or the jeep safari. Either you get a birds eye view from the high above or up close and personal in the valley. We were all excited to experience the much-talked-about hot air balloon but alas the weather was not on our side. Thats how we ended up on a thrilling jeep safari. (If you wonder whats it like, its actually like being on a short bursts of roller coaster ride. He he).
After all the exciting adventures in Cappadocia we went northbound, by-passing Ankara, the capital city of Turkey and broke the journey in Bolu. The hotel that we stayed for the night was located in the middle of a pine forest near a lake and a mountain as the backdrop. It was so picturesque and peaceful that we wished that we could stay longer.
The last leg of our tour was centred in and around Istanbul. We had a great weather during our city tour but unfortunately the sky was grey during the Bosphorous cruise.
We spent sometime at most of the tourist spots like the Blue mosque, St Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, Al Fatih mosque, and shop at the Spice Market and Grand bazaar. And I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise despite the unfavourable weather.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. If anyone ask me which country that I would recommend to go on a holiday, Turkey is definitely on top of the list.
And on top of that the people that I travelled with were wonderful too. Complete strangers in the beginning of the trip who later became friends.
That's one of the advantages of a group tour. We get to meet and make new friends. And this particular bunch of people are really great. Honestly, I have been to a few group tours and more often than not there would be at least one who can be annoying or picky, but not this time. And you know what? A good tour leader and tour guide also made a lot of difference. And this time around both of them were excellent!
Alhamdulillah. I have been blessed.
Will update on a couple of short trip real soon so meanwhile stay fit and be happy!
Travel date : 6-18 May 2017