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Two days in Cappadocia

Two days in Cappadocia

It's hard to believe we were in Cappadocia a week ago — only a week ago! A whole week ago! The side trip there was my idea. I wanted to see a place outside the main city of Istanbul, to get a taste of non-urban life in the most East-meets-West country in the world, to ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise. 

Well, two of those three wishes came true. Bad weather thwarted our hot air ballooning plans, but I say that gives us a great excuse to go back someday. 

Cappadocia is a fascinating region. It's located in central Turkey, on a plateau 1,000 meters above sea level. Thousands of years ago, several volcanoes erupted, burying the area in material that would be eroded into strange and wondrous configurations over the centuries. We stayed in Goreme, one of the region's main cities, which is home to or near many of the sites worth visiting.

I do hope to someday return to Cappadocia, if not for the sunrise hot air balloon rides, then to explore more of its beautiful valleys, to better experience its food offerings, and to stay again at the lovely Osmanli Manor Hotel. I wouldn't normally mention where we stayed, but this lovely family-owned hotel and its staff were a huge part of the reason we enjoyed our time there.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip, in the order I took them. I hope you enjoy. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the pictures or the trip!

The breakfast spread at Osmanli Manor Hotel.

The breakfast spread at Osmanli Manor Hotel.

Every morning, we had breads, cheese and olive. I became somewhat addicted to the sesame bread.

Every morning, we had breads, cheese and olive. I became somewhat addicted to the sesame bread.

The terrace at Osmanli Manor Hotel in Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey. | www.paperplatesblog.com
A view of the Red Valley plateau in Cappadocia, Turkey. | www.paperplatesblog.com


Goreme is full of all sorts of unusual rock formations.

Goreme is full of all sorts of unusual rock formations.

Clay pottery in Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey. | www.paperplatesblog.com
The area surrounding the Goreme Open Air Museum.

The area surrounding the Goreme Open Air Museum.

Walking in and out of the many cave churches (some of which date back to the 11th century) at the Goreme Open Air Museum is spooky and amazing.

Walking in and out of the many cave churches (some of which date back to the 11th century) at the Goreme Open Air Museum is spooky and amazing.

Centuries ago, many Cappadocians lived in caves carved out of the rock. Some are so high up you wonder how anyone reached them.

Centuries ago, many Cappadocians lived in caves carved out of the rock. Some are so high up you wonder how anyone reached them.

Trail markers indicating two of Cappadocia's famous valleys.

Trail markers indicating two of Cappadocia's famous valleys.

Apple tea was basically invented for tourists, I know, but it's still perfect for a cold afternoon.

Apple tea was basically invented for tourists, I know, but it's still perfect for a cold afternoon.

Traditional clay pottery beef stew — I cracked this container open with a dagger!

Traditional clay pottery beef stew — I cracked this container open with a dagger!

A friend who accompanied us on our horseback riding adventure.

A friend who accompanied us on our horseback riding adventure.

Exploring Cappadocia's vast and varied valleys on horseback was a great way to see a lot in relatively little time.

Exploring Cappadocia's vast and varied valleys on horseback was a great way to see a lot in relatively little time.

Vegetable fritters as part of a homecooked meal at Osmanli Manor Hotel. I forgot to photograph the main course.

Vegetable fritters as part of a homecooked meal at Osmanli Manor Hotel. I forgot to photograph the main course.

A selection of desserts at our romantic dinner for two. We had the whole terrace level of the hotel to ourselves. Please ignore the crumbs.

A selection of desserts at our romantic dinner for two. We had the whole terrace level of the hotel to ourselves. Please ignore the crumbs.

These little arrows — often faded and hard to spot — are the only indicators that you're still on the trail.

These little arrows — often faded and hard to spot — are the only indicators that you're still on the trail.

Love Valley is home to some pretty remarkable rock formations.

Love Valley is home to some pretty remarkable rock formations.

I think this is what people are thinking of when they call Cappadocia "otherworldly."

I think this is what people are thinking of when they call Cappadocia "otherworldly."

Winding paths in Love Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey. | www.paperplatesblog.com
Everywhere I looked, I spotted new textures. I was, and still am, amazed that there could be so much variety in one place.

Everywhere I looked, I spotted new textures. I was, and still am, amazed that there could be so much variety in one place.

Love Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey | www.paperplatesblog.com
I spy Uchisar Castle in the distance. I wasn't excited by the prospect of more climbing after our hike, but the view from up there was worth it.

I spy Uchisar Castle in the distance. I wasn't excited by the prospect of more climbing after our hike, but the view from up there was worth it.

The village of Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey | www.paperplatesblog.com
As we searched for a quick way to the top, a friendly man offered to show us a shortcut. Before leaving us, he warned, "Don't fall in the holes." Thanks for the warning, dude.

As we searched for a quick way to the top, a friendly man offered to show us a shortcut. Before leaving us, he warned, "Don't fall in the holes." Thanks for the warning, dude.

Uchisar Castle.

Uchisar Castle.

Goreme at dusk.

Goreme at dusk.

The Red Valley plateau glowed at sunset for a few brief minutes. A breathtaking cap to our short trip to Cappadocia.

The Red Valley plateau glowed at sunset for a few brief minutes. A breathtaking cap to our short trip to Cappadocia.

The TBR List: Slack

The TBR List: Slack

"Bark" by Lorrie Moore & blackberry french toast casserole

"Bark" by Lorrie Moore & blackberry french toast casserole