Taking a late morning flight from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Kayseri Erkilet Airport, I finally made my way to another dream destination, Cappadocia. I pre-booked a shared transportation from the airport to the hotel where I will be staying at Göreme, the center of tourism in Cappadocia region.
It takes an hour by land to travel from the airport to Göreme, but time passed by quickly, a peak on the van window reveals open space lined with rock formations and endless blue skies, totally different landscape from the busy Istanbul.
Arriving at Göreme is like stepping into a dream. It is not an exaggeration to say that there is no place like it. The honey-colored town is small and easily explored on foot, with shops , cafe, restaurants lining up the main downtown area, while concentration of cave hotels, new and old, positioned up on the narrow, winding streets.
The towering rock formation called “fairy chimneys” occupies the town skyline while exploring the back alleys and lesser commercial areas offer a glimpse of the life of its inhabitants- kids playing ball or women quietly knitting at the stone steps.
With adequate time left on my first day at Göreme and armed with a pre-downloaded maps, I decided to walk all the way from the town proper to Red and Rose Valley, some of the best landscape to see in Cappadocia.
Red and Rose Valley is an easy 10 minutes ride from Göreme, and for those opting to DIY, starting from Göreme, it might take a good 3 to 4 hours walking to complete. Despite having the map, the direction to Red and Rose Valley is tricky and cumbersome that I ended up asking at one of the ATV/Quad Bike Tour company lining up at the Müze Cd road.
But my asking for the fastest direction ended with negotiating for a 1 hour ATV ride to both valleys. I’ve never ridden any quad bike before, so It was a good first time experience on an incredible landscape of Cappadocia.
Red Valley (Kizil Vadasi) and Rose Valley (Güllüdere) as the name implies is known for its red-rose color of unique rock formation, man-made dovecotes and worn-out stone churches with original frescoes. Formed over a thousand of years and shaped by natural elements, the corrugated landscapes and the many dispersed fairy chimneys, by best definition is otherworldly.
After returning the quad bike, I walked back to the town of Göreme and headed to the famous Sunrise and Sunset Point, to wait for the sky to turn to full cotton candy color and along with the many visitors, watched darkness enveloped the fairytale like region of Cappadocia.