Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia was our last stop in Turkey and was, by far, my absolute favorite.  We budgeted 3 nights here, which was hardly enough to enjoy its splendors.  This area is most well-known for the fairy chimneys, rock homes, and ancient churches carved into rocks.  There is so much exploring to be done among the cliffs and in the town of Göreme.  We hiked through the valleys, poking around in the old homes dug into the rocks, climbing up the fairy chimneys and giggling at the phalic-looking rocks in "love valley."  The Göreme Open Air Museum is a must-see, with amazing churches and paintings found inside unassuming cliffs.

One of the most popular activities in Cappadocia is a hot air balloon ride, which I'm glad we splurged on.  It was such a grand experience, I honestly expected a proposal during the ordeal, but alas!  Eric left me waiting another couple of weeks!  But even in the absence of a turn-of-my-life question, the hot air balloon ride was incredible, providing awesome views of the awesome landscape.

For another dose of fascination, we toured the Kaymakli underground city - a literal city built entirely underground nearly 5,000 years ago during the Hittite times.

While in Turkey, you really must see a show of the great Turkish dances, so we checked this box while in Cappadocia.  There were a variety of traditional dances, but among my favorite were the hypnotic whirling dervishes and a very talented belly dancer.

If I were to return to one place in Turkey, this would be the one.  Cappadocia certainly will not leave you disappointed.