Neha and Arindam are truly pro winter. Passionately on toes, they’re constantly juggling between managing a full-time corporate job. The couple’s travel blog Breathtaking Postcards is memorabilia of sorts. We had a chat with them after their recent visit to Cappadocia, Turkey, which was nothing short of exhilarating and enchanting!
1. What was Cappadocia like?
You know how Enid Blyton stories are filled with enchanting land, that was Cappadocia for us. Situated on a hilly plateau, it’s a small ancient district in the east-central region of Anatolia. With the Taurus Mountain Ranges in the south, its landscape comprises of rocky terrains, pillars, chimneys and cone-like structures formed due to ancient volcanic eruptions, it was like a scene out of a fairy tale!
2. How did you prepare for it? Any must do’s and have’s?
We booked our hotel 3-4 months ahead of our trip. All the cave hotels are running on full occupancy almost throughout the year. Since this is a small district, the flights operating here are all local. As you land at the airport, a shuttle takes you to your city. We chose an evening flight so that we can rest for the night and start early the next day. Also, always keep local currency handy! Card transactions are expensive.
3. So, you went there last December. What was the weather like?
Winters can get extremely cold and snowy. It’s a magical sight but it also makes moving around very difficult! In fact, after our recent collaboration with Kosha, we realised that their products would have been perfect for our trip. We were amazed to know that the thermals are made of merino bamboo wool, making it 100% eco-friendly. Besides being supremely warm and comfortable, their products are in bright and flamboyant colours, unlike the greys and blacks we currently own.
4. That’s a helpful winter travel tip. Tell us about your days there.
So, on the first day we took the North Cappadocia Tour, or the Red Tour. It was a day-long guided group tour, with a local tour operator. Starting with Uchisar, we reached Esentepe, then onto Goreme Valley. We discovered astonishing natural rock and volcano eruption formations throughout the northern region. We had some gorgeous fine dining lunch, along with some delectable Turkish classics, at one of the cave hotels in the neighborhood.
Our favorite was the Avanos Pottery Village! We tried our hands creating our own little masterpiece with the help of skilled potters. We took home some exquisite Turkish ceramics. And that’s just Day 1!
5. That sounds unbelievable. How was the second day?
We started with Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia’s best kept secret. Also known as the world’s deepest subterranean metropolis. It’s a 55-meter long ancient city that once was home to about 20,000 people. Next was the breathtaking Ihlara valley. After a peaceful walk alongside the Melendiz river, we enjoyed the traditional meal in the company of nature.
The next stop on the tour is our favorite – the drop dead gorgeous The Nar Crater Lake. Situated 36 km southeast of Aksaray in Cappadocia, it dates back to thousands of years. We feel genuinely blessed to be able to see the Nar Lake in its most surreal form.
6. Wonderful, please go on.
Third day, we took it easy and pampered ourselves. The Mithra Cave Hotel has rooms carved out of caves, designed in an Ottoman and Greek architectural style, without compromising on every bit of luxury. One of the permanent residents of the hotel is the cutest dog – Felix. We took it a bit easy, pampered ourselves with a relaxing Turkish Hamam bath and shopped for ceramic balloons and Turkish rugs.
7. And then came the bonus day?
Yes! So, on the third day, our hotel staff had informed us that the next day would be perfect for the Hot Air Balloon Experience. Taking a risk, we canceled our flight to Izmir and decided to extend our trip.
The Anatolian Balloon company picked us up from the hotel at 4 a.m. At the departure, we were served tea and cakes as we astonishingly watched all the balloons getting ready to fly! The flight itself was nothing short of a miracle. Imagine floating in the sky, with hundreds of hot air balloons all around you, overlooking the snow-capped town. It was just out of the world. We wholeheartedly recommend Capadoccia to everyone who loves the chills, a fairytale setting, and a wonderful culture.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.