I absolutely love Turkey. I think the country is fucking beautiful and rich in history, locals give out smiles like goddamn dental adverts, and the bread is a chubby girls HEAVEN (France’s baguettes will taste like fucking Wonderbread after you’ve been to Turkey).
While any city you go to in this glorious nation will be a wonderful experience, I cannot preach enough how goddamn magical Cappadocia is (pronounced cap-uh-DOUGH-key-uh, not cap-uh-DOSH-uh).
It’s the land of fucking PENIS CAVES.
I recommend starting your trip in Cappadocia - it’s easy to land in Istanbul and then just move along to the domestic terminal for your internal flight. Once you arrive at the Kayseri airport, you’ll need to hop a 1-hour shuttle to Cappadocia. I stayed at Nomad Cave Hostel (I highly recommend) and I was able to arrange my shuttle through them.
There are tons of things to do in Cappadocia, most of which I didn’t do at all. If you’re hip to history, the underground cities could be fucking dope. There’s apparently a lovely ceramics shop there too. I’m all about adventure and some sweet views, so I came to the city of penis caves for one thing only: to see them from a hot air balloon.
I arrived late on a Saturday night and was greeted with a glass of apple tea (a Turkish specialty, don’t leave the country without trying it!) and booked my hot air balloon for sunrise the following day. As I was leaving for Istanbul on Monday morning, this was literally the only day that I could do the balloon ride. I was picked up along with a small group of other visitors and taken to the departure sight. We sipped on hot cocoa and cookies (because #breakfast) while the pilots were getting the balloons ready. Unfortunately, after an hour they had to call the ride off due to shit conditions, which was pretty fucking devastating for me. I went back to my hostel and hung out with some of the guys working the front desk.
When they asked me what I was going to do instead, I didn’t really have a plan. Then one of my new pals said, “Well, my brother has some horses and he can take you out around the valley if you’d like.”
YES FUCKING PLEASE.
His brother didn’t speak a lick of English and the horse was more like a donkey but it was such a fucking beautiful experience. Trotting through phallic rock formations was honestly a dream come true. I’ve never done heavy drugs, but if there is ever a time to drop acid, this would be it.
AND THEN GUESS WHAT FUCKING HAPPENED?
My horse riding companion got a call from his brother at the hostel saying the balloon company was going to do a sunset ride. We tied up our donkey-horses somewhere (like literally IDK, it was just against some fucking pole) and sped off to get me to the departure sight.
I ended up sharing a basket with 12 Brazilians, ranging in age from 20-42. These people were not a family, but just friends from different generations who wanted to have a new experience together. And my God, they were absolute angels. They invited me into their group conversations immediately and explained all their inside jokes so I wouldn't feel left out.
One of the guys proposed to his girlfriend on the balloon and it was fucking gorgeous and I cried like a little bitch. They invited me to share their champagne, and to get in all their group photos, so hello adopted family.
I say this often: a trip is only as good as the people you meet. I think even if I had not encountered such kind and generous folks, I would have still loved Cappadocia, but fuck me, the people made this place unforgettable.