Just got back from a wet n’ wild excursion around Goreme and Cappdaocia. In other words, a lightning thunderstorm thrashed about and we were stuck in the middle in the big wide open fields. Smart, I know.
If you ever find yourself here, do yourself a favor and do the following things we plan on doing:
- Book a hot-air balloon ride for the next morning at 5am (trust me, it’s for a sunrise you’ll never forget). Although the regular rates are 155-200 euros a person (over $250 USD!!!), I managed to bargain tickets down to 95 euros. Simply say: “the guy next door is offering it for 100 euros, so can you offer a better deal?” and keep going back and forth until one of them taps out.
- Visit the unique Open-Air Museum (15 Turkish Lira) at Goreme. A great starter on what to see at Cappadocia, especially if you want to explore “cave churches” and well-preserved frescoes of Jesus Christ.
- Book a table at Disbel Restaurant so they can prepare you (at least 3 hours) the slow-cocked testi kebap that they’re famous for.
- Rent a few ATVs and put pedal to the metal.
What I noticed and liked about Cappadocia is how the touts are different from those of many tourist destinations in other countries. Although there still are the obligatory souvenir stalls in front of anything that has a door, the “touts” aren’t touting: Here nobody is coming up to you and asking for you to take a free look; they’re simply hanging out and waiting for you to come to them. With the exception of the aforementioned hot air-balloon exchange (I wouldn’t consider them touts since they’re not selling souvenirs), if you feign detachment in order to haggle down the price they won’t bother playing the game; they just shrug and say “suit yourself.” That could be both a good and bad thing…they’re no longer up in your grill, but that means they’re not so easy to haggle with either.
I’m not sure if this is normal Turkish behavior (something to do with overly begging/selling something as inappropriate?), but I find it a huge sense of relief when walking around. I no longer have to defend myself by trying to reply with a direct “No! Thank you!” in a different language anytime someone comes up to me trying to sell something. It’s as if everything about this place is peaceful, even the part when they’re supposed to want your money.
A well-suited comparison: Cappadocia is extremely similar to Hampi, if anything a little cleaner and family friendly.
– At time of posting in Cappadocia, it was 57.2 °F – Humidity: 88% | Wind Speed: 13km/hr | Cloud Cover: thunderstorms