Cappadocia, famous for its spectacular rock formations and ancient cave churches, was one of my favorite spots in Turkey. And as the birthplace of Saint Nino, who according to legend brought Christianity to Georgia, I had to visit, even if it meant two overnight bus trips. I was traveling alone at this point, but picked up some fellow travelers at the Göreme Open Air Museum for hiking. Note to solo female travelers: do not hike alone here, or accept a free room upgrade, or coffee, or even a beer from your hostel clerk. I was smart enough only for the first.
At Göreme, like a lot of sites in Turkey, you pay a primary entrance fee, only to be swarmed by crowds and somewhat disappointed, only to find that for the most interesting part (in this case the nicest frescos) you have to pay even more. While the church frescos at Göreme were beautiful, as far as cave monasteries go, Vardzia in Georgia, tops Göreme any day. That said, the surrounding landscape in Cappadocia is surreal. Especially when stumbling off an overnight bus at sunrise, to hundreds of hot air balloons hanging low over the fairy chimney rocks. Didn’t get any decent photos of that, sorry.