When we were planning our trip, we were torn between doing a day trip to Cappadocia or Troy on our last day. After a few research, the fairy chimneys won over the wooden horse so we then booked a flight to Cappadocia.
We ended our third day pretty early to make way for the preps for the flight the following day. If we are to get a private service to the airport, it would cost us so much. So we scraped off that idea and settled with the cheapest public transpo there is. We booked the latest night shuttle to Istanbul Sabiha Gocken Airport because the earliest the following day couldn’t accommodate our early morning flight. The downside of this, however, is that we have to camp out in the airport and endure a terrible sleep.
We arrived at the airport an hour after midnight. Tried so hard to get a decent sleep but the cold hard, steel benches were just too uncomfortable to sleep on. We took turns on sleeping so as to keep an eye on our stuff. Good thing, the airport is safe and there were a lot of us campers travelers staying the night. I was able to get a 2-hour sleep but then again, it’s not enough.
We arrived at Kayseri Airport around 7 in the morning via Pegasus Airlines. The flight took an hour and 15 minutes. Kayseri Airport is small and simple. When we got out, it was coooold! Apparently, we were misinformed that this side of Turkey is not as cold as Istanbul. Anyway, we tried asking some guys in the airport on how can we get to Goreme but no one was helpful. Even the locals in the nearby bus stand couldn’t help us. Luckily, there was one passenger who can converse in English and she guided us where to go and which bus to take.
The ride to Nevsehir took us more than an hour of travel and though feeling sleepy, I tried my best to keep my eyes open just so we’ll never get lost. From Nevsehir is another hour bus ride to Goreme. Thank God we finally reached our destination! From where the bus dropped us, we followed the signs to get to the Goreme Open Air Museum. The road going to the complex is just a few strides away from the bus station. And from that road, it took us 20 minutes to get there.
The fairy chimneys are awesome up close! But what’s more incredible is that the ancient people, Orthodox Christians specifically, carved this soft rocks and turned them to churches, monasteries and refectories. Most of these carved churches have well-preserved frescoes. Really superb!
After visiting the open air museum, we went down to Kaymakli to see the Underground City. It’s challenging to get there as we have to shift modes of transportation. It’s a bit hard to locate this site because it’s a little far from the main road. However, the series of stalls selling souvenirs acted as a hint that we’re on the right way. We were greeted by independent tour guides after buying our tickets and we took one of the guys with us. TIP: It is a must to have a guide! Otherwise you wouldn’t appreciate and understand the greatness of this city.
Kaymakli Underground City is one the most brilliant ‘creations’ of man I’ve ever seen (thus far!). Kitchens, wineries, stables, churches, rolling stone doors, deep wells, ventilation shafts and everything else that human beings (and animals) need to survive was all here! Pure intelligence! I was really in awe! The underground city was believed to have 8 to 9 levels, 5 of which are open to the public.
Our Cappadocia trip, though short, was so sweet. One day is definitely not enough to see everything this place has to offer. We went back to Goreme and ended our night with a lovely dinner on a restaurant overlooking the fairy chimneys.
We’re back to Istanbul 11-ish and discovered the wonder of the Havas bus! It took us from the airport to Taksim in just a few liras. The following day, we checked out and bid goodbye to (now) my favorite place in the world, Turkey.
Until we meet again! Gule gule Turkiye!