<!–:de–>Kappadokien<!–:–><!–:en–>Cappadocia<!–:–><!–:fr–>La Cappadoce<!–:–><!–:es–>Capadocia<!–:–>

Written by Sebastian on July 27th, 2011. Posted in Allgemein

Martin: We leave Istanbul behind us and take the highway to Ankara – Cappadocia we`re coming! Even though some guys told us that there is nothing interesting between Istanbul and Nevsehir, which is the main city in the Cappadocia region, we are amazed as the road takes us first through beautiful undulating terrain and later changes to a mountain range covered by forest on the left and right side of the highway. We drive a couple of hours and as the sun starts to set, we decide to take an exit and drive somewhere up the mountains to find some place to sleep.

Turkey´s longest waterfall

We drive through a small village, left and right old wooden farmers´ houses, where we see buffalos grazing in their gardens. The atmosphere is idyllic, but after we drive through a bigger town, where we see more cows in the streets than cars, we are not sure whether we will find a place to stay over. After the village we decide to take a road that goes up the mountain. As we go up we pass houses that are built on the flank of the mountain, we are not sure whether we should turn back or continue. Luck is again on our side, as we suddenly see a car parked at one of the houses with an Austrian plate number from Dornbirn. Sebas goes to ask if there is some place to sleep close by and we find out that there is a nice camping site on top of the mountain. As happened already so many times on our trip in Turkey, they take us there to make sure we find it. The hospitality in this country is really incredible!


Some serpentines later with beautiful views on the valley we get there. There are four chalets people can rent, a nice meadow where people can camp, a small shop and a restaurant. Our Turkish companions are great and after a small chat they tell us that there is a quite nice waterfall nearby, so we walk a bit downhill only to find out that we actually ended up at Turkey´s longest waterfall, at least that´s what they told us 🙂 They leave, and as almost everyone who helped us in this country, not without warning us not to trust anyone 🙂 We build up our tents in the dark, eat a grilled fresh trout from the river nearby for dinner and chat a bit with three Palestinian tourists who placed their tents next to ours, before we go to sleep.


Milli Parki experience

Next day we pack our stuff and head back to the highway. At the camping we get to know the leader of a scout group from Istanbul who gives us their scarf for good luck. At a gas station we see another KTM Adventure R and meet Gabriele, an Italian, who is doing a trip around Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. We exchange phone numbers and agree to meet on our way back when we cross Italy. The landscape continues to be beautiful and 50 km before Ankara Sebas suggests to take a detour through the mountains. According to our map it`s just a couple of kilometres more and since we are not in a hurry, we take the next exit. Unfortunately we don`t find the road indicated in the map and take another one.

The next 30 km or so I exectrated Sebastian for his stupid idea and wished we had never left the highway. The road started as a potholed country road, which is fair enough, but soon it turned into a coarse gravel road. This wasn´t some loose stones on earth, this was a shitload of stones and if there was some hard ground below you could only guess it. My first real dirt road experience consisted of driving with 15-20 km/h trying not to lose balance and track and of cursing Sebastian for his fucking idea to take that road. As to drive on eggshells was not challenge enough, that road or whatever you want to call it, started to go uphill with sharp elbow curves and it cost me a lot of nerves to stay in the middle of the „road“ and not to end up driving down the flank side of the mountain. Given my situation you can imagine how I reacted listening to Sebastian´s comments through our intercom telling me how beautiful the landscape around us is 🙂

Finally we arrived at the plateau and reached a paved road. That was the first time, for what seemed like ages to me, that I looked up from my front wheel and started to enjoy the beautiful landscape around us. Even though that road scared the shit out of me, I´m surprised how great Eva-Dos is to handle, even fully loaded. Mountains and valleys with no buildings as far as you can see, just pure nature.We check our map and realize that we are in a Milli Parki, a National Park. We drive along the plateau and even though I start enjoying the landscape, we drive in silence, as I need some time to calm down 🙂 We start going downhill and realize that we should actually find a gas station quite soon, as we are both running on empty…we laugh about it until we find out that the next bigger town is about 40km away.

Coasting as much as we can, we get to a junction, not knowing whether to turn left or right. Taking the wrong decision in this situation might lead to waiting for a truck to take us to a gas station 🙂 It´s a real mystery and I don´t know how this country is doing it, but whenever we need help, someone comes up. This time a motorbiker from Ankara who by chance passed by and leads us not only to the next gas station but also drives ahead of us past Ankara to show us the right highway to Nevsehir, Cappadocia. I can only repeat, I have really never experienced a similar general hospitality in any country I´ve been to.



Even though we planned not to drive at night, we actually end up driving in the dark quite often 🙂 We reach Nevsehir shortly before midnight and take the first hotel we find on the way. It´s nothing special, it´s on the main street of the village, the owners are nice and we can park the bikes on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. There´s a nice square in front of the hotel and we find out that it´s a tea bar. No idea how they do business, because the only thing they do, besides having shishas, is selling tea the whole day. We grab a Dürüm and go to sleep.

We get up quite late and decide to stay another night and to use the day to update our blog, to visit the famous volcanic formations that people used to carve in flats in the late afternoon and then continue our trip to the black sea next day in the morning.

We drive outside of Nevsehir to Uchisar, where we visit the so called „castle“ on top of a hill, which actually looks like a hill itself. The castle is a huge volcanic formation, with carved out rooms on different levels and a small gravesite for some former VIPs on top of the formations. We get down and decide to take a drink at a nice cafe right next to the castle before we continue to drive around and go back to the hotel.


It all started with a Cola Turka

In the bar we get to know Kenan, the owner, a very nice guy who lived many years in Germany. Sebas orders a Cola Turka, the local Coke, which they don´t have, but talking to Kenan we learn that the area of Cappadocia is huge and about 2 million tourists come every year, many of them staying for weeks to visit the different sites and walk through the numerous valley in the area and that one can actually sleep in one of those carved out rooms. To his amusement he can´t deny himself to tell us that we are actually the first ones he gets to know who stay over in a hotel in Nevsehir, a dead boring city with nothing to see.

We are astonished as we thought we´ll do a quick visit, shoot some pictures and continue on our way.. Well, so much to our great preparation for this trip 🙂


The historical facts (more or less)

The name Cappadocia dates back to the 6th century BC and means land of beautiful horses, as loads of wild horses were living around the area during the Persian Empire. In short, two happenings make this area unique in the world and are the reason why it´s a UNESCO Heritage:

  1. Massive erruptions from the volcanoes nearby led to the development of volcanic mountains and tuffs, which over centuries were subject to erosion. The erosion led to the development of the spectacular volcanic formations we see nowadays.
  2. As in 574 AD the Persians conquered the cities nearby, many Christians fled and hid in the area around the town Göreme, which means what this was all about: Not visible. They started to intensively carve out flats, churches, built loads of underground tunnels and even underground cities in order to hide from the Persians. All of which you can visit today.

Many of the cave-like rooms are today part of normal houses made of stone, where locals live or tourists like us stay over 🙂

Kenan also tells us that one can actually take a balloon ride and see the area from above. Sebas is thrilled by the idea of taking a ride on a balloon. In the end, he didn´t get his Cola Turka, but we ended up booking a night in one of those cave-rooms and a balloon ride for Sebastian for € 120 🙂 I decided against it, as I already did a balloon ride once and because I didn´t want to pay the price 🙂


Mansion and balloon ride

Our place turns out to be a mansion, from the terrace of the house we can see all over the valley, there is a BBQ and the whole atmosphere reminds me of some old farmers house somewhere in the Toscany. We hurry up and rush back to our bar next to the castle, and as the area is widely flat, one can see another spectacular scenery: the sun going down on one side and the moon rising up on the other with the volcano Erciyes Dagi (3.891m) in the near distance. Afterwards we decide with Kenan to do a BBQ at our place, buy the meat and some vegetables from the butcher in the village and enjoy great meat with a couple of beers. Well, lets say I enjoyed it, as Sebastians stomach didn´t appreciate it too much… and led the poor guy to eat rice for the following days 🙂

At four in the morning Sebas casino online gets up to do his Balloon ride, at 8 in the morning he´s back with a big smile on his face. Seeing the photos I agree that the view from the balloon is great and going up with 20 or 30 other balloons at the same time is a fantastic scenery. Nevertheless I think the price is a rip off 🙂 We decide to stay another night, and walk downtown to a bar to work on our blog. We find out that Cappadocia is very popular among French tourists, many shops and restaurants have French names and many French own the houses around our area… ours too btw.


The Love Valley

In the afternoon we decide to hike through one of the many canyons in the area. The one we walk through is called the „love valley“ and is especially popular with women (that´s what they told us, really! :-)). We walk down into the canyon, the hike is beautiful, in the middle of the valley green vegetation, surrounded by dead ground, now and then volcanic formations. There are no people around and if there were a nice river this place would be a paradise. Even without it`s incredible. After some time we realize why the canyon is called the love valley and why it is said to be popular with women: there are dozens of volcanic formations that look like dicks, in all kinds of length and shapes. We wonder if there is also one that comes with battery 🙂

At the end of the canyon we find a bar, that seems to us like an oasis, as it is placed unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere. We have a drink and a tractor driver who is there by chance takes us to Göreme and from there we take the bus back home. We decide to leave the next day and continue on our way.

Cappadocia had yet been another incredible place where we met wonderful people and where we wished to stay longer. The whole area is preserved by the locals in a great way, even though there are many hotels, there are no skyscraper hotel chains, all buildings are built in harmony with the surrounding landscape and if you are lucky and there are not many tourists, walking through the canyons will give you the chance to inhale the atmosphere and you will have a feeling that this area hasn´t changed for the last hundreds of years.

The underground villages we skipped on purpose, as both of us are sure to come back one day. This is definitely a place I want to show Eva to explore it together.