Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style
The Turkish Airways shuttle to Kayseri International was super cheap, though only if purchased on the airline’s website. I found others advertising for three times the price! It always pays to comparison shop.
A short 45 minute flight later we were being picked up for the journey into central Cappadocia, in our case, the Goreme area – about another hour away. Since this was our last stop and we wanted to make the most of the two half and one full day we had, we hired a local tour agency to book everything for us, including airport and other activity transfers, traditional Turkish bath, hot air balloon ride, and full day area tour. This saved us a lot of time and in then end, was a solid, stress free value.
Most dwellings in the towns in Cappadocia are built in ‘fairy chineys or caves, and we definitely wanted to stay in one. A Best Western simply wouldn’t do! After comparing several hotels, we chose a mid-priced, smaller family run property called the Nostalgi Cave Suit Hotel which was within walking distance to central Goreme.
The room was, well in a cave though through the front windows there was a nice view of the city below. The two heaters kept it cozy on the chilly nights, and there was a small TV with limited programming options.
The hotel had recently opened and was small enough that the owners pretty much served in every capacity from check in to chef. It was very comfortable, and truly unlike anywhere I’ve ever stayed!
We enjoyed our first night watching the sun set over the city, steps away from our accommodation. The landscape was very unique and felt a bit like being on the moon!
After a beautiful sunset, we set out to do a bit of exploring in town, which was a short walk down the hill from our cave hotel. The town is small, with a couple of local grocery stores and many tourist trinket shops. There’s also a lot of good restaurant options and for the most part, things are pretty reasonably priced, refreshing after two weeks of eye popping prices in Norway.
The following day would be brutally long, so we called it an early night and headed back up the hill to our cave. The agenda for the next morning included a pre-dawn pick up for a hot air balloon ride, then full day city tour. We’d end the day with a visit to a traditional Turkish bath.
The hot air balloons were being filled as we arrived. It’s a little unsettling how big and how hot the flames are. We climbed in and started our ascent. And it was spectacular!
The sunrise views were breathtaking and I felt very lucky to have experienced my first balloon ride in Turkey.
We were transported back to the hotel for a quick breakfast before being picked up again for our all day tour which included a visit to a local museum, a wine tasting, traditional meal prepared in clay pots, pottery demonstrations, and lots and lots of fairy chimneys.
It was a long day, and thankfully our last visit of the day was to a traditional Turkish bath, where were were pampered like a local.
After a relaxing scrub down and massage, we were deposited back at the hotel to prepare for our mid day flight and long journey home. The next morning we woke up to another sky full of balloons, a perfect way to end our amazing time in Turkey.