I can’t remember the first time I came across Cappadocia on the internet. I usually see it on bucket lists and top lists of places you need to travel to on different articles. I remember seeing Isabelle Daza’s photos and travel videos when she went and got engaged there. Can you imagine? Mostly known for the fairy chimneys, rock landscapes, cave hotels and most especially hot air balloon activities during sunrise, it’s easily one of enchanting places on earth. I didn’t even bother to include it on my bucket list because I thought it’s impossible for me. It’s just too good to be true. But when my room mate and I saw an opportunity, we grabbed the chance and ditched our Istanbul layover.

We only had less than 24 hours in Cappadocia. We had a 50-hour layover in Istanbul, but instead of touring around Istanbul, we’ve decided to book ourselves plane tickets to Kayseri, the nearest airport to Cappadocia on the last minute. Luckily, we only spent around 65USD for our round trip tickets to Kayseri and back to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines(yay crew discount!). Which also means we are on standby and if flight is fully booked we will be bumped off. So for more chances of getting on trip, we’ve decided to check-in earlier than the original schedule in our booking. We also did it for our way back. After we got in our hotel in Istanbul, we immediately packed our trolleys for our trip to Cappadocia and took a cab back to the airport. Our flight was delayed so we arrived at Traveller’s Cave Hotel by midnight. We slept for a few hours and then got ready for the sunrise balloon ride.

At 4:30am, our van arrived and we were brought to the meeting place where we were offered some snacks and hot drinks while we are waiting for the coaster going to the site.

When I took this photo, all I could ever think of was how lucky I am to be living in that moment..

Hi Mister Sun

.. like the feeling when I saw the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum in Rome in person, but so much more.

I can’t even imagine living there. Like every morning, you’ll be greeted by a flock of hot air balloons at sunrise.

abundant fruit farms when you look down


To celebrate the wonderful experience

Fancy schmancy

P.S. I don’t like to drink so imagine my anxiety when he handed me my own the glass. Judi was like, “you need to finish that”. But it’s not bad at all. We even had another glass after the jeep safari tour.

Then we went back to our hotel for our breakfast.

Already loving the place upon entering.

Breakfast buffet with a view

The walls are full of different currencies from around the globe. Too bad we didn’t bring our purses at breakfast. There were a few peso bills on the other side of the wall.

A great collection of books for the guests to enjoy with the view..

Neighboring hotel. I like ours better. It’s more.. cave-y. haha like it completes the Cappadocia experience. Too bad we were so tired when we got to the hotel, we didn’t get to take photos of our room. And I used to hate it when people say, “I wasn’t able to take photos of -blah blah-” on their blog. 😦 But you can check their website if you wanna see their rooms.

Mad Max feels.

At 10am, our jeep arrived at the hotel. We’ve decided to take a jeep safari tour since it’s too early to go to the airport. I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos while on the jeep.

Our driver was so nice. He really knows and love his job very well. He would ask us to stand up so we could enjoy the rollercoaster-like ride. And everytime we sit down, he would smile at all of us at the back and fix his eyes on us until we stand up again and we’d just be like, “Okay! Okay! We’ll stand up, eyes back on the road please!” Haha it was super fun, though I gained some bruises and scratches (which are all worth it). He knows where to take good photos and he’s very courteous and he really took good care of us while on the 5-hour tour. (P.S. the grapes were from the old ladies we met on that road. They were so nice. It’s hard to finish all the grapes since we needed two hands to hold on for our dear life on that jeep.

This is our first stop. The evil tree eye beside the souvenir shops. They said the evil eye charm is like a protection for bad luck or curses. Like an amulet. My friend told me some of our Moroccan colleagues use this. I tried to google it and THIS is what i found.

Couldn’t take a more natural-looking photo since all of them were looking at me walk slowly so Judi could take a good photo. #annoyingtourist. Our group is consisted of two Filipinas (us) and 3 Chinese nationals, a couple and a photographer. They eventually got used to us being so annoying and vain. hehe

She has a big-ass camera and she takes our photos too. I wish I could find her and see her photos but she they don’t have facebook in China.

This could be like an album cover. Hehe 

The way up (and down) was so challenging and a bit dangerous I wish we brought a more suitable rock-slash-cave-climbing attire. But it’s worth it. All gooooood. I took more videos than photos inside the caves.

And then he brought us to what seemed like a nicer version of “karinderya” for our free lunch. And it has wifi too. And yes the food was good.

After that, he brought us to another place where they served us apple tea..

..while admiring this view..

.. like this girl right here

.. while our Chinese friends are trying to feng shui us.


lol i just had tooooooooo sorryyyyyy


And to make up for my lack in blogging skills, please watch my Cappadocia video diary. It was such a wonderful experience I really want to share it to all of you. ❤

Cappadocia, Turkey – September 2016 from Cha Valenzuela on Vimeo.

I’m so glad we took the risk and got ourselves on this trip. It was short and we didn’t cover everything there is in Cappadocia, but it’s still worth it. Kappadokya is like a different world. It felt so good. I felt infinite. Doing something for myself. Not apologizing for the bad case of “wanderlust”. This trip fueled the free spirit in me even more. Like suddenly, all the adventure quotes on pinterest flashed in front of me. Like suddenly, the world is too big and life is too short. I wish Mozart was with me. I also wish I could experience this with my family. I wish I could take all of you there. And I wish I don’t suck at this. This isn’t even half of my amazing experience in Cappadocia. No photo  or video can do justice. I guess that’s the most frustrating thing in blogging. Not being able to fully come through or failing to share the whole experience.

But I guess that’s why you need to see and experience it for yourself right?

travel sign



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