Donde dejaras tus sueños escondidos?”
– Ayer, Enrique Iglesias
We’d heard so much about Turkey, so last October, we thought we’d go check out for ourselves what all the fuss was about.
We spent a few days in Istanbul, and were very relieved to eventually escape the unceasing autumnal rain — to freezing but at least sunny Cappadocia, right in the heart of Anatolia. We first flew in to Kayseri, then got on a shuttle that took us to the charming village of Göreme, about 45 minutes away.
Kayseri was an industrial town like any other — certainly nothing to write home about. But as we reached the Cappadocian valley, we were immediately entranced by the weathered rocks, which appeared no different from the sand dunes of the Gharb Sahel we’d just left behind in Egypt.
We booked a whole-day tour to see as much of the valley as we can, which was an efficient way of going about it in this region, in my opinion. We were taken to see some of the most iconic sights around Cappadocia, including the “Love Valley” (whose phallic insinuations behind the name, and in the real thing, are not easily missed) pictured above. The panoramic view from up here is stunning, especially with Mount Erciyes looming in the distance. Years of wind and rain have culminated in these breathtaking rock formations that are both unusual and fascinating, depending on how you look at them. It felt like I was staring at Mother Nature’s canvas.
But having just been greatly impressed by the splendor of Ancient Egypt on our journey from Aswan to Luxor prior to arriving in Turkey, Cappadocia fell somewhat flat in comparison. It is possible that I was merely experiencing some withdrawal symptoms after my departure from Egypt, and was absolutely inconsolable. I did not find myself falling in love with Turkey, because Egypt had taken over that space entirely and so completely.
I am still grateful to have been directed here, and am happy to report that our onward journey down south to Cyprus gave us something else to appreciate about Turkey. Perhaps I need to return with a slightly more open mind to see if Turkey might charm me again a second time.