Phalluses and Fairy Chimneys: Cappadocia in a Nutshell

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I’ve been here in beautiful Göreme, Cappadocia for the past few days and while high season means the area is completely overrun with tourists, it’s still even more gorgeous than I had previously imagined. The unique landscape was formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, and while everyone calls the resulting conical peaks “fairy chimneys”… let’s face it guys, we all know what they look like. I guess “massive stone penises” would just be too crude to appeal to the Turkish Tourism Board.

But why would fairies need such large chimneys, anyway?

Come on, what do these look like to you?

Come on, what do these look like to you?

Göreme is a pretty small village, but it’s the most popular base for visitors to Cappadocia and the town’s infrastructure shows it. There are basically two main roads, but there are about 200 hotels (most of which offer cave accomodations), dozens of restaurants and cafes, some souvenir shops, travel agencies, a hammam, and a small bus station. That’s it.

There isn’t a huge amount to do around here, but it’s a pretty quiet, relaxing place to chill out for a few days and there are certainly some worthwhile activities. Though it’s a huge wad of cash to drop on one excursion, going on a hot air balloon ride is pretty much a must-do. (Separate post on that soon!) There’s also the Göreme Open Air Museum, just a 1km walk from the center of town, which is a decent way to spend a morning and 20 lira… though it’s very repetitive and gets boring after a while. There are also lots of affordable organized day tours that leave from Göreme and go all over the region, as well as hiking trails you can do independently.

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The hostel I’m staying at here, Nomad Cave Hotel, also has some of the comfiest dorm beds I’ve had on this trip. It’s definitely been a good incentive to stick around. Sure, sleeping in a cave is cool, but a super cozy cave with an extra fluffy quilt? Even better.

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