A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey - Ankara and Cappadocia

5 star luxury to a tent

DSC_0880_1.jpgIMG_20140914_104037_1.jpgIMG_20140914_121223_1.jpgFDD975AFD9F17D0333E50B69DC7D090C.jpgDSC_0798_1.jpgFDDFADC2C10CB782CA5316065A0491DC.jpgDSC_0797_1.jpgDSC_0791_1.jpgDSC_0813_1.jpgDSC_0828_1.jpgDSC_0852_1.jpgFE0F912AE6AA2C1C4C3A002B6DB95A20.jpgDSC_0844_1.jpgDSC_0867_1.jpgDSC_0878_1.jpgFE12EA6FAB1B47BDB6BE56F190DFE8D2.jpgDSC_0866.jpgFDDC4B91EAA4D55A890F009042389093.jpgWe flew with Pegasus Airlines and I was NOT impressed... We had a transfer in the middle of our flight at Istanbul, so had to change planes, which is normally fine except that our first flight had been delayed and so left us very little time to change planes. There were no Pegasus representatives in Istanbul airport that we could find and a huge queue at immigration to check Turkish Visas...meanwhile the clock was counting down to our onward flight to Ankara. I begged security to let us through into a quieter queue, which they did, and in the end our visas were swiftly processed. I just couldn't believe that we then had to go through Istanbul's departure security again...normally if you have a connecting flight you automatically go through to the departure lounge. So we were running through the airport, like that film scene from Home Alone, and took off our belts, emptied our electricals and got searched again at Turkish security. It was so infuriating as there was nobody to guide you around the queues despite repeatedly showing our flight ticket that was about to take off. All ends well, we got on the shuttlebus to the plane as they were making the final boarding call. Phew!

I tell you what was needed after that journey...a 5* Marriott Hotel. Jason had used some of his points again for a one night stay and it was POSH! We arrived to a reception with chandeliers, grand piano and helpful concierge who helped us with our backpacks. Unfortunately they didn't have the room we booked so we got upgraded to a suite...amazing! It was huge; desk, sofa, massive bathroom, enormous bed. We'd arrived really late, midnight, so we ordered room service and snuggled into our free bathrobes. Relax! We didn't leave the hotel until the afternoon so that we could really make the most of our 5* luxuries. Jason went to the gym, swimming pool, breakfast in bed. It was definitely the nicest hotel we've ever stayed in.

We had to move to a cheap and cheerful hostel the next day. We didn't do that much in Ankara because we spent most of our time debating our next travel plans. We were a bit baffled about what to do. We were surprised by how much accommodation was in comparison to Asia and the Middle East, so we bit the bullet and bought a tent, roll mats and sleeping bags. A tent would be our new home for the next 6 weeks.

The only thing that we really did in Ankara was experience our first traditional Turkish kebab. There were tonnes of kebab cafes near where we were staying, in fact there was no other food options really. We had a kofte and chicken kebab to share, relatively cheap and filling.

After a brief stay in Ankara we caught a bus to Goreme, Cappadocia. The bus was great, loads of room,TV, movies, WiFi, drinks and nibbles. Jason found the name of the bus company particularly funny: kamilcoc (camel-cock). We set up our tent at Kaya Camping; swimming pool, kitchen, hot showers, sunset views...what more could we need.

We visited the open air museum that showcases some of the best fairy chimneys and colourful frescoes of the Byzantine period. The rock chimneys make up the landscape of Cappadocia and are formed from rainfall and sandstone movement years ago. A lot of the naturally formed rock tombs were made into churches, chapels, homes and graves. They make a spectacular view, especially at sunset. We spent an afternoon walking over and through some of the rock formations at Sunset Point and Meskendir Valley; a lovely afternoon and a picnic with a view. On one of our days we hired a bike and visited some of the surrounding towns; Uchisar, Urgup, Avanos and Ortahisar. We sampled some wine at a Cappadocian vineyard, stopped for Turkish coffee and wandered around cute little villages. Jason also said he had an amazing run at sunset through the valleys surrounding Goreme one evening.

Unfortunately we do have one big regret from our time in Cappadocia... not going on a hot air balloon ride and not seeing the balloons either. Everybody says it's a MUST...the sky is filled with 100 balloons for sunrise. We were on a waiting list for three days running and were unsuccessful. We then approached a different company who said that the balloons were probably not going to fly on our last morning there due to weather conditions. We therefore didn't get up in the morning to see the sky at sunrise, only to find out that they did fly after all. So sorry everyone, but we have no photographs of this spectacular sight. I think this is yet another place to come back to.

You will be surprised to hear that I took to the tent quite well...Jason didn't have to put up with any moaning. We even enjoyed cooking for ourselves in the campsite's kitchen; Jason made delicious veg and halloumi wraps. We ate out also and sampled the local cuisine, chicken hotpot served in a claypot that is smashed at your table. Overall camping was working out great and I'm looking forward to camping near the sea next.

Posted by bloorsontour 08:13 Archived in Turkey

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


The camp site looks good but I think the 5 star hotel is more to my taste!!! Xxx

by Mutsi

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.