A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Cappadocia, Nice and Nasty

So yeah, Cappadocia, I’m in two minds about the place, so in honour of that this update will give my two very polar viewpoints.

Nice

It’s stunning; the scenery, the cave houses, the arid landscape, even watching the 50+ balloons float over the landscape early in the morning; it’s really hard to fault the place on this front. It’s even clean! I’ve been pretty disgusted with the level of rubbish about at other ‘beauty spots’ in Turkey, but they seem to make an effort to keep Cappadocia pretty.

99 Red Balloons

99 er... Red.... Balloons

The camping is great – we stayed at Kaya Camping and it’s really on a par with some of the best European campsites in terms of facilities, etc. Plus it’s a dam sight cheaper than staying in accommodation in Goreme.

Walking paths are plentiful and offer some stunning views as well as a chance to stretch your legs in a non-cycling fashion; although someone would do well to make some rudimentary maps for them… perhaps a more uniform job of signposting them? But that’s a minor point.

Cappadocia Cave Houses

Cappadocia Cave Houses

The usual friendly locals once you get out of the tourist bits, (not that the locals in the tourist bit’s aren’t friendly… but they are trying to sell you something) they will offer you tea, have a chat etc… just like the rest of Turkey.

Kat and the Locals

Kat and the Locals

The Hamam gave a good scrub down, it’s a little pricy, even at the discounted rate of 40TL we got; but our muscles were weary from cycling and really appreciated the treat.

Nasty

Coachload upon coachload of tourists at everything that could even remotely be considered a tourist attraction; you really have to get to places, for instance the Open Air Museum, first thing… and I mean first thing, if you don’t want to fight your way through throngs of people to see whatever it is you came to see. Lots of people at the Open Air Museum is one thing, but at the Derinkuyu Underground City, dam – waiting for ages in narrow cramped corridors for a group of old people to try and navigate the stairs is not my idea of a good time.

Goreme doesn’t have one shop, café, restaurant or anything else for that matter, that isn’t focused entirely on tourists. We wandered the side streets and couldn’t spot a Locanta, tea house or anything where locals would go… guess they all live and do their business at other nearby towns. So that basically leaves Goreme an expensive tourist trap, accommodation prices are also a lot higher than stated in the latest Lonely Planet. This is a great shame as it could have been so nice with its cave houses, etc; oh well.

Balloon rides; I’m sure they are quite good, but dam are they expensive – another symptom of well to do tourists flashing the cash is that budget travellers get priced out of the market for things like this.

Conclusion

Now I know what you’re going to say, “but Phil, you’re a tourist as well!” and your correct, it may seem slightly hypocritical criticizing other tourists… well I’m not criticizing other tourists, nor the locals for trying to make a living from the throngs of people who come to see the sights. All I’m saying is that the result of the influx of visitors and the local response to it has made the place unpalatable; (at least to me)… same thing happens at many places like this all over the world. I think as a cycle tourist it’s easy to become a bit jaded, you see things and stay in lots of places that hardly ever see a tourist, so when you come to a place like Goreme it hits you a bit harder than if you’re just doing the regular backpacking/travel thing, (I’m not saying regular travellers don’t go off the beaten path, they just don’t tend to as much as they have to make an effort, whereas with bike touring it’s incidental to the way you travel).

All in all, I enjoyed our stay in Cappadocia and would certainly come back… my advice is just be aware of exactly how touristy the place is and plan around it (so early starts at the attractions you want to see) if crowds and coaches are not your thing. We also found that most of the best things to do in Cappadocia (hiking or cycling around the landscape, watching the balloons, talking to locals) were 100% free!

2 comments to Cappadocia, Nice and Nasty

  • Damian

    Hi Phil,

    Me and my mate are thinking of a cycling tour in this area. Hard to find anyone who has been. Any chance of extra info? If you have a route or any tips on what to avoid/must sees/accommodation that would be great.

    I have a touring bike, so no suspension(Dawes Karakum)- if I put some knobbly tyres on it will it suffice on the roads/tracks there?

    Thinking of taking a tent and doing some camping and some hotels, so any good camping advice appreciated too.

    Cheers,

    Damian

  • Damian

    Just seen that you have touring bikes – though mine isn’t as nice, I guess it will suffice!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>