You Are Stunning, Cappadocia

 


The fact that I just realized today is April already, it makes me remember, I spent my April last year in one of stunning places I’ve ever been…


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I could tell that traveling is addictive in a good way, of course. I’m writing this in my room on Sunday, plus Easter holiday tomorrow, with my body’s here. But my mind is somewhere else. I’m literally thinking to travel to somewhere new. To somewhere I have never been to. I have some ideas where I’d like to spend my casual leave this year but I won’t tell for now :) (as I wish I didn’t need to think about budget TBH!).

As often as I think about where is my next destination, I also think about how I should gather my will to start something for my own house. It is too bad I neglect it for two years doing nothing. The last time I went (yes, last year when I had my annual leave in Indonesia) I forgot the exact location of the house, ridiculous I know. But it was true. I was literally wondering “where is my house” till I laughed stupidly when I saw a lot of vines growing on the floor. From the rusted gate, thru the door, till the unfinished part at the backyard. Sigh, pathetic. But here’s also the truth…

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“There are a lot of travel bugs flying around me right now”


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While I’m still looking at some places for my vacation, I’ll take you back to where I spent one of beautiful days I had last year in a stunning Cappadocia.

 

 

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Ok, fine. You just saw what I had for my breakfast in Cappadocia. It looks good right? The truth is, yes, it was! le pardon if it makes you hungry.

It was a bless having an opportunity to experience the famous balloon ride there and came back for an hour before my tour started. I still remember how peaceful it was having the breakfast that morning. When the sunshine was bright but the weather was cool, endless Turkish almond I fell in love with (true, the almond is amazingly milky!), fresh fruits, also that fluffy cutie popped in the picture :)

I only had an hour before the shuttle bus picked me for a whole day tour called Green Tour. It was part of the tour package I paid included the balloon ride (I’ll attach the link of the travel agent in case you guys need it :)). I had to rush preparing myself cause I knew that day would be an exciting long day.

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“You know I prefer to be a BTS person but when standing in front of that stunning landscape I gave my camera to one of the tour members and said “Would you mind?” ~ cause yes, for memory purpose. Perhaps if I didn’t follow my spirit I won’t have a single picture of myself in Cappadocia :)”


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Before I continue with the story, I’ll take you to take a short tour to some stunning landscapes…

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If you read what I wrote up there, I must say one of the things “Ok, travel first” instead of “Buy the furniture for your dream living room” is photograph. I admit that photography is my happiness. Before I even started writing this post I looked again on those pictures I took when I travelled, always, and will always make me happy. This might sounds like an excuse not to do something for my house but buddy, there is a magical feeling every time I look at those photographs” 


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I deliberately joined the tour cause I knew I can’t drive, meaning it would be easier for me to explore another side of Goreme by tour (even though I’m not a tour person tbh!). Perhaps if I could, I would drive around and stopped at some points anyhow I liked. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t regret anything joining the tour cause I was glad could see interesting places like what you’ve seen above. The tour itself started by 9am to 5pm and costs 40 euros/person. It includes Derinkuyu Underground City (you’ll love it if you are into history), Selime Monastery, Ihlara Valley, Pigeon Valley, and ends at Goreme Onyx where you could see onyx demonstration (and pick some if you want to spend money :)). The tour itself was a bit tight, so you might need to fuel yourself properly before it starts.

Honestly speaking you’ll be mesmerized by the fact how people lived in 8 levels of underground city then. It was amazing knowing the history from the English-speaking guide, tho it might be a bit boring if you are not into history. Again, if you have a plan to visit Cappadocia and have a very short time to explore but want to experience something else, the Green Tour isn’t bad at all. Yes, hiking on some points might be a bit tiring, but having a quick-lunch at place with beautiful surrounding and ended the trip at Pigeon Valley was worth to try.

When I finally arrived at my hotel that day, I didn’t want to waste my time in my room. I opened my window, the sky was gorgeous, some sunset hues were on the sky, and call prayer was echoed. I had no reason not to be grateful before I ended my day two in a stunning place called Cappadocia. Now, let these photographs do the talk :)

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I’m glad right now looking at picture above when we were stopped for five minutes and most of us decided sat on the road for memory purpose. Mine was taken by one of the tour members, she’s Chinese and traveled alone (oops, with her friend (read: a selfie stick) :)). 

When I shared my chocolate to her in the bus, she said “I loved to be up there on the balloon ride, I think I’ll do it one more time tomorrow” :) 


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Below is one of my favorite photographs I took that day…


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One Of The Best Mornings I Ever Had

indeed…


If there is one thing that makes me hate my very best friend, Andreas Knogler, is when he greets me from somewhere new in Europe. He did it few times. From Denmark, Greece, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, and the last one was from Croatia. Next, will be from Kosovo (oh wait, he’s in Croatia again today!). Do I really hate him? YES, I do. No, I’m kidding. Yes, I’M SURE I DO. No wait, envious? I think that is the word.

When I made a joke that Andreas will always be a winner comparing his travel history with mine, he laughed “my geographical location is better Azis, so it doesn’t count”. For me, it counts! So when I had an opportunity to runaway from hectic and crazy Lagos and flew to Turkey, I already thought I should “greeting from Istanbul, Andreas!” to get one score. Tho I’m still far away behind his score, I always find interesting every time we share our travel stories.

The time I was stoked sending a short video to Andreas when I was at the downtown in Cappadocia. He replied me that his dad, onkel Knogler, was there last year and enjoyed it so much. I must agree with the fact that it is hard not to enjoy a dazzling place like Cappadocia. Even by writing this sentence makes me dream to enjoy Cappadocia one more time!

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“I was on the phone with Andreas just few minutes before I ended my day. Few hours before I had to wake up at 3.30am”


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On day one when I arrived at my hotel, the lady in the reception told me that perhaps the balloon flight on my schedule might be cancelled. She wasn’t sure but the pilot had announced the chance to fly was 70%. “But I had checked on forecast that tomorrow will be sunnier than today” I said. “It depends on the wind, but he’s not sure. We will let you know in the evening if it cancel or not” she smiled. No worries, Azis came with no expectation, huh? so he shouldn’t be disappointed if he couldn’t finally be on the hot air balloon.

I woke up very early tho I wasn’t ready to leave my bed (you know why, soft bed, thick white blanket, and cool morning). I stood under the shower very quickly, prayed, and sat on the couch in the reception before 4.30am. It was silent, no one there but a receptionist. “Am I late?”, he answered with smile, “No, don’t worry, 10 minutes before your pick up time”

The shuttle bus arrived. I sat nicely inside with few travelers on the same purpose heading to a place where we took light breakfast. Inside the room, there were so many people ready for an exciting experience. Most of them were dressed super stylish like as if they were ready having pictures of themselves with the best possible appearance. I sat down with a cup of hot tea, few cheeses, strawberries, a slice of bread, and light conversation with a solo female traveler from Colombia. She was in Turkey only for 3 days, didn’t know that she had to reserve in a prior to the balloon flight. She looked a bit dissatisfied yet I could see how excited she was for 73 days ahead exploring Europe.

Thirty minutes after breakfast time, I stood in front of some balloons with an exciting feeling, also my dread to be up there.




When I was enjoying Istanbul from above in Galata Tower with Hakan and Saf, I was worried how would it feel inside the basket for my balloon flight. I mean, Galata Tower just about 206 feet high huh, and I was a bit terrified when breeze was blowing. I don’t have acrophobia, but wondering myself inside the basket and way up, up there, I was scared shitless. If you never or you’re planning to experience hot air balloon, there’s nothing you need to worry about cause the pilot is experienced and certificated.

When the balloon starts go up and up, you’ll definitely enjoy the view like nowhere else. I was on cloud nine when we were up. It wasn’t scary at all. Admiring the stunning landscape of Cappadocia from hot air balloon just before the edge of the sun appears over the horizon in the morning was unbelievable.

I had never imagined I would have an opportunity to experience it by myself this year. I had never imagined I did it, went up there to feel, to see and to remember, one of the best mornings in my life. In Cappadocia.



“I’m not a travel blogger you guys know :), but I could share some tips if you’re planning to experience this by yourself…”


  • Trust me, tho it’s not that cheap, it is worth it for a life time experience (yes, Cappadocia balloon flight is among top 3 in the world). I guess your trip to Cappadocia wouldn’t be accomplished without hot air ballooning :)
  • It’s way much better to reserve your schedule days before and it is also important to check the weather on forecast. As mentioned above, the flight depends on the wind. I picked my date when it was sunny, I mean, if the day is clear it should be safer than cloudy day right?
  • When you have date for your stay in Cappadocia and hot air balloon is in your bucket list, prepare minimum three days including your arrival. In case your schedule is being cancelled, you’ll have a chance to fly on the next day. Before I checked out on my last day, I heard a convo between two Asian ladies and the receptionist. They were disappointed cause their flight was cancelled. So, I was lucky everything went well huh? :)
  • You’ll be so passionate to take million of pictures when you are up there with your camera, that’s okay, but give time for yourself to enjoy the moment. Photograph captures a moment that’s gone forever I know, but when you are up there, drop the camera and close your eyes for seconds, take a deep breath, open your eyes widely then capture the real moment in your mind. Trust me, you’ll remember the moment too well
  • Dress moderately but clever, you must prepare that up there could be colder. I wore a tee, a sweater and a jacket to make me warm yet still comfortable :)
  • Listen to the pilot’s instruction for your own safety, they’ll brief you do’s and don’t’s before flying. A little practice for landing is one of the important thing you must do. My flight was 100 percent smooth, I did not have to do what I practiced after the basket landed on the ground
  • Don’t forget to be grateful if you have an opportunity to experience this by yourself :)
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