Before my son visited there in 2009 I knew Cappadocia only from the New Testament book of Acts, which doesn’t actually say much about the place. After seeing photos of his trip I knew I had to go too.
You can squeeze a lot into a day if you have to. Weather conditions in Istanbul (fog) cost us a day as our flight was cancelled. That meant hard choices. I had wanted to visit one of the underground cities in the area, but something had to be dropped when we lost that day. However that just gives me a reason to return.
After a morning at the Goreme Open Air Museum my friend Mike needed a break due to some foot issues (is that too much information? Perhaps, but is necessary to explain how I found myself hiking alone in the Rose Valley).
I set out on my own. It was February, but the temperature was at least 15 Celsuius, maybe warmer. No need for a jacket. I’d seen the valley earlier that day, from the air, and I was eager to check out some of what I had seen. I only had a couple of hours, and was limited by being alone (didn’t want to take chances of having an accident in a cave if no-one knew where I was. There are thousands of caves, it could take a long time to find a lost hiker).
I was on foot, but the trails would have been perfect for bicycling. Or horseback. And I suppose for motorized trail vehicles, but I think those would spoil the charm.
The short visit convinced me that there is so much to see and do in Cappadocia, so much history, that I could easily spend a week there, or even longer without getting bored. That to me is what makes a travel destination most fun. You can spend some time, sleep in the same bed every night and really get to know the area.
Packaged tours that cover eight countries in seven days have really never really held that much appeal to me. I’d rather wander through the Rose Valley.