Part of the Armenian heritage trip memory.

2019-09-24 Tuesday

Traveling Erzincan to Cappadocia

The drive from Erzincan to Cappadocia was pleasant. There were many little bridges over the road to allow water to cross without washing out the road itself. The travelers saw animals, including a herd of sheep that crossed the road forcing a small delay. Each town seemed centered around a mosque with tall minarets.

Along the way, the travelers saw an excelent view of Mount Ericyes from the Kayseri side. When the view is clear, it is obvious that the mountain is a volcano that has erupted before.

A view of of Mount Ericyes from the Kayseri side.

Lunch at Sivas

Nancy, Jim, and Blaise stopped at the city of Sivas for lunch. This was the birthplace of St. Blaise. Sivas is a large city with a complex network of busy roads. There are no parking meters, but individual workers make it their business to take a fee from each car that parks for more than one hour.

Blaise poses in front of a hotel in central Sivas. Sivas was the birthplace of St. Blaise, Blaise's namesake.

Cappadocia overview

Pronounced "cap a dough sha".

Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. Other notables sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.

Although the travelers have no relatives in this area, they decided to visit Cappadocia anyway to take in the amazing geology. It was well worth the visit.

night in Goreme

The travelers arrived in Cappadocia late afternoon, just before sunset. They stayed in the town of Goreme, at the center of the Cappadocia region. Goreme is a rock city with many buildings built into the rock walls and pillars

An example hotel in Goreme.

Initially there was some confusion about which hotel was correct, as there are many hotels whose names contain some combination of "cave" and "suite". The travelers stayed in the Ottoman Cave Suite hotels, which was right at the center of Goreme and afforded wonderful views of the surrounding town during sunset. They had a honeymoon suite on the top floor, with a personal hot tub and a wonderful view of the surrounding city. The travelers watched the sun set from the roof of their hotel.

View from inside the hotel room.

Sun setting over gorome, as viewed from the hotel roof.

Jim, Nancy, and Blaise enjoying the sunset.

The nearby castle at night, as viewed from the hotel.

After unpacking and watching the sunset, the travelers enjoyed a nice Chinese dinner at a local restaurant.

2019-09-25 Wednesday

waking up

The sunrise was also fantastic as viewed from the hotel roof.

Sun rising over Goreme, as viewed from the hotel roof.

Blaise poses on the hotel roof during the sunrise.

During breakfast, the travelers finally tried the tulum from Kemah. One of the hotel empoyees shared her own tulum, which is made with "black seed" (cumin)

Breakfast at Ottoman Cave Suite. Note the tulum on the table with Nancy and Blaise.


The travelers took a taxi to the top of the ridge (sun set point) and meandered their way down through the valleys and caves of Cappadocia. Ultimately, they arrived at Çavuşin.

A tree near sunset point that has been decorated with "evil eyes". This symbol was common throughout the region.

Blaise poses at the entrance to the red valley.

Nancy poses near the door of one of the carved churches. Note how thick the walls were made.

View inside Kizilcukur Church, showing painted roof detail.

Nancy sits at the entrance to one of the red valley dwellings.

At some point, the travelers hopped from the Red Valley to Rose Valley. Rose valley contained many amazing carved rock structures.

Rose valley rock formations.

Nancy and jim pose at the entrance to Rose Valley.

Nancy stands on the bridge into column church.

Column church, interior.

Blaise poses in front of some carved structures in Rose Valley.

Foolishly, the travelers forgot water and food. They were happy to discover an oasis cafe "StarBox" which offered refreshing fruit juice and water. This cafe was located right under cross church, and the view into Rose Valley was amazing.

Painting within cross church, next to StarBox.

The travelers ultimately exited the valleys in a nearby town, and were able to catch a taxi back to their hotel.


As a last activity, the travelers visited the local castle. They ate lunch near the top. The view was amazing, even though it was raining that day. Nancy and Blaise paid 9 TL each to go to the top of the castle. It was a fairly tourist-centered area, but not many visitors were there. Their were camel rides available.


Blaise poses on top of the castle.
Jim shows us a local camel.