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Just back - a few thoughts

Boston...
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Just back - a few thoughts

Hi there: Just back from an amazing 2 week trip to Turkey which included 4 days in Cappadocia. I have to say that for me, Cappadocia was the highlight of my trip. There is noplace like this and it's a great place to see local life and traditional people. I get the sad feeling it won't be this way for long so don't miss it. Here are a few thoughts/suggestions:

* we stayed at the Kelebek hotel in Goreme which was absolutely incredible. Beautiful rooms, the views are incredible, staff very helpful and accomodating and food good.

* After driving thru Urgup as well I felt Goreme was more striking of a town and also felt slightly less overwhelmingly touristy (they had a Dockers store in Urgup!). Of the two I'm glad we stayed in goreme.

* It is really important not to take photos of the villagers without asking their permission. Some are more than happy to have their photo taken but some will get very upset if you take a photo.

* One of my favorite experiences was just walking around the small roads in Goreme where the daily life was happening. We saw kids playing, women cooking grape syrup outside, men stomping grapes. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

* yes, the hot air balloon ride is worth it. I recommend one hour (versus longer) both for the $$ and just that it's enough. I really recommend Kappadokya Balloons. There are lots of companies but not all use licensed pilots or quality balloons. Kappadokya has been around for 16 years and are universally recommended.

* Open Air Museum in Goreme is great. We went to Kaymakli Underground City which was interesting but you go thru pretty quickly. Derinkuyu is supposed to be deeper but we didn't get there. It's pretty intense going intot he small corridors and not for the claustrophobic.

* We hired a local guy to drive us around for a 1/2 day which cost us 40 YTL. He took us hiking in the rose valley (incredible!), to many small but amazing rock formations, to Avanos and Ushisar. This was a cost effective and great way to see some unusual sites.

HtR Tours
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Balloon Rides
Kayakoy, Turkey
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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1. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

Hi,

Very nice to read your thoughts on Istanbul and Cappedocia!

It will be very helpful for future visitors to Turkey,

Have a nice day!

Gold Canyon, Arizona
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2. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

Dear Leotrvlr: Thanks for your update! I'll be in Goreme for 5 days in February (snow!), so hope the balloons will be flying! Thanks for letting me know that one hour balloon seemed adequate. And thanks for the warning to be careful about photographing the locals. Best regards, Rick (constant-cruiser), Gold Canyon, Arizona, USA

3. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

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Aberdeen, Scotland
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for Aberdeen
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4. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

So glad you enjoyed your trip and Kelebek Hotel, too as we're staying there this summer. Thanks for posting, grat to know what to expect and what we can do there.

Singapore
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5. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

Hi, We'll be in Urgrup in late June and we're also interested in hiring a driver to drive us around. LeoTrvlr could you advise how you found your driver and if it's necessary to bargain to get the price of 40YTL. Thanks

Boston...
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6. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

Hi there:

You won't have to dig hard to find someone to offer to take you around I don't think. I found our guy at the snack stand on the road from Goreme to the Open Air Museum. He is a friend of the owner of the stand and approached us. You can also ask at your hotel, etc but I guess that might cost more. You also need to take into consideration that if you hire a local to drive you around, you're not necessarily getting a "tour guide". You're getting someone to take you to the sites so if you want a lot of info on the history, etc. you may just want to get someone thru the hotel. You get what you pay for after all. For us, though, it was worth it.

In terms of negotiating, you should always negotiate in Turkey. I didn't find that you could get costs down by any dramatic margin but you could certainly get them down some.

Good luck!

Singapore
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7. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

Thanks for the quick response. Our hotel suggested that we either hire a car and drive ourselves around or else hire a car& driver. They quoted us 70 USD for the car and driver.

I just emailed Kappadokya Balloons. If the flight takes approx 1hour, what time does the whole ride finish. I read somewhere to leave 4 hours for the whole experience. I'm just trying to plan whether I can catch a 4pm bus on the same day to my next destination.

Thanks

Boston...
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8. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

I wouldn't try to find the sites yourself - some are a bit hidden. The other thing is that gas is obscenely expensive in Turkey so it will end up being way more expensive than you think. Just hire someone.

For the balloon ride, if I remember right I was back at the hotel by 9:30am - really, you get started super early so you'll have plenty of time for your flight.

Boston...
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9. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

I wouldn't try to find the sites yourself - some are a bit hidden. The other thing is that gas is obscenely expensive in Turkey so it will end up being way more expensive than you think. Just hire someone.

For the balloon ride, if I remember right I was back at the hotel by 9:30am - really, you get started super early so you'll have plenty of time for your flight.

10. Re: Just back - a few thoughts

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