My journey across Turkey continued with two more stops to go. Which in hindsight should have been in a completely different order in the trip. Cappadocia was a place I had wanted to go since my boss at the time had shown me pictures of it. Then Troy was a place I had just always dreamt of seeing. The two were opposite ends of the country and Troy was past Gallipoli. Had I made better plans I would have seen Troy after Gallipoli and for those travelers who do plan, I recommend seeing Troy much earlier in the trip.
It was another long uncomfortable night on a public bus but that was my budget and it got me where I wanted to go. I checked into the hotel and it was adorable. If you don’t know much about Cappadocia it is famous for its little fairy doors in the mountains. And the hotel encapsulated this as you slept in a little room inside a mountain. My tour started with a delicious lunch in this little hut over the water.
Then we were off to check out some of the views. There are honestly not the words to explain what this was like. The caves in the mountains went as far as they eye could see there were valleys full of them and then high mountains full of them and there wasn’t anywhere that you couldn’t look that wasn’t beautiful or interesting.
Next we were off to see one of the oldest churches in the world. After seeing a brief amount of churches in London and the mosques in Istanbul I didn’t think I would see a church that would be any more interesting than what I had already seen. While not visually spectacular there was a feeling the place gave. We walked a long way so be sure you have comfortable shoes and plenty of water if you set out for this one.
We were taken to St George Church situated in the Ihlara Valley in Cappadocia’ it’s named from depiction of St George on horseback fighting a snake and wolves. It was an incredible cave that had been carved into the church that it was with wall to wall Christian paintings. Unfortunately, over time a lot of them have been vandalized and during the Ottoman empire most of the hands and faces were scratched off when the area converted to Islam. But even with that you can appreciate the incredible beauty of the paintings.
My biggest regret about this part of the trip is that I only elected to stay 2 days. Every time I think about the place and look it up there is so many more things I did not see or do in this magical part of the world. It’s often described as being straight from a fairy tale. There are parts where you can see magical fairy chimneys. I never would have thought caves and rocks could be so interesting but every time we got out of the mini bus there was another area made of the same stuff but looking completely different. I didn’t even feel like I was on earth anymore.
I would love to return and do the hot air balloons. As I had blown my budget I was unable to do so and I settled for a horse ride instead. Which was magical. I’m not even sorry for my overuse of the word magical in this place. Anywhere else I have done a horse riding tour has been so overcrowded and impersonal this was a small farm with not many horses and we set out just me and two tour guides. When they realized I could ride well enough one of them took off. It was a beautiful way to explore such a wonderful area. It came time to say goodbye to Cappadocia as my short time there drew to an end.
Then I was off to Troy. If it’s not already evident anything with a horse involved always sparks my interest. While the Trojan war and their famous use of the horse was not the most pleasant story, I always found it very clever. As mentioned in my previous article I would recommend Troy around the same time as Gallipoli due to geographical locations but also due to booking in places like Ephesus after. It was amazing to see Troy and even better to say I had been there. I took a million photos of the replica of the horse, got to climb inside and see how cramped the to scale model would have been for men to hide inside it.
The story’s and the links to everything are all there but the sheer volume of ruins that are visible in Ephesus really made Troy pale in comparison. Which is perhaps a little unfair to such a famous historical city that has been destroyed and rebuilt possibly more than any other and there is a section of Troy where you can see this where they just built the new city on the rubble of the old which was so great to see.
This is where I bought my first travel souvenir, I got a shirt with the horse on and the word Troia, which is the native word for the city. Months later, to the great amusement of my Italian housemates in London I used google translate and realized what Troia means in Italian.
Then it was back to Istanbul where it was all downhill. My plan was to see a bit more of the city and fly back to London. The plan of the powers that be was to knock me out with the most awful flu I have had in my life. The poor people that ran the backpackers searched the whole place for another Australian who they managed to find and she was my angel in a time I thought I was dying in a foreign county.
It was about 3 days before I could move or keep anything down but it showed me how wonderful people are as she had plans to go see other places and stayed in Istanbul longer than she had planned. She fell in love with the country so much she has never left and this was 5 years ago. One day I will have to go back and see her again. But for now I pay it forward when I can. I was eventually well enough to make my journey on to London and begin my new life.
I will never forget these two weeks and how much they changed who I am, experiencing a world so different to what I was used to and seeing things I had never seen before, communicating with people whose language I had not taken the time to learn and experiencing a different way of life. It was incredible, scary, breathtaking and the best thing I have ever done. As the world has changed a lot in the last 5 years always make sure you keep an eye on current events and be sure to have back up plans in case Turkey is not a safe location at your time of travel. As I discovered, it is good to be prepared. And that’s the end of my solo trip to Turkey!
Read Part One: My Solo Travel Adventure In Turkey – Istanbul to Gallipoli
Part Part Two: Traveling Turkey Solo: Pamukkale to Ephesus
Trending Cappadocia Tours
You might also like: Top 25 Europe Travel Adventures
Traveling to Turkey? Check out these Turkey Travel Tips
Disclosure: When you click on a link we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).