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Two days in Cappadocia with Tania Hird Designs and HairFlair Aus

Cappadocia is an unreal topography of dreams and childhood tales. Fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave dwellings on the surface evoke a possibility of nature formed purely for our pleasure. In reality, high religion, safe havens and underground cities hold a much more serious past. Whether a history buff or adventurer in search of wonder and romance, Cappadocia was on my bucket list and is, in my mind, a “must visit” experience for any visitor to Turkey.

Our Owner & CEO, Tania Hird, wears "Aphrodite" - Stunning embroidered linen shirt dress with optionional belt

Guided Tours

In Cappadocia, tours are described as Red, green or blue. Certain areas overlap so it takes a little research to determine which combinations will give you the experiences you desire. The Red tour is predominantly Northern Cappadocia, the Green is south and the Blue is a mixture. It is imperative you visit an underground city so ensure that at least one of the tours include this.

Day 1 Red Tour

The Spectacular Red tour takes in the fantastical Goreme open air museum of rock cut churches, monasteries and village life . The Male monastery marks the entrance to the village, the first line of defence for the community, the female version soon follows in a very similar layout. Kitchen on the ground, food storage next, then the education level and dormitory on the 3rd and 4th. Whether homes or monastery, food is cooked in a Tandoor ( sunken circle) cut in the ground, grapes are crushed underfoot and liquid caught in a pool through a spout, tables and benches are stone cut and long, and clever practicalities abound: Kitchen roofs are not carved with ventilation holes where charcoal needs to be lifted for ink, homing pigeon caves are built nearby as a postal service, churches and caves are painted with Secco and Frescoes so religious lessons can be learned visually without writing. A practical yet impressive existence of cave dwellers from thousands of years ago.

Uchisar Castle is the largest of accomodation not far from the Goreme Air Museum. You can climb to the top for an awesome view of comical shapes dwellings however my favourite experience was climbing into the dwellings, some of which were used until deemed uninhabitable by the government in 1987 .

Pasabag, also known as Monks Valley, is an area of Cappadocia, Turkey known for its unique Mushroom chimneys caused by sea levels and erosion. Meandering between these mushroom monolisks evokes a feeling of being very small in existence. It is serene, and majestic which is possibly why the Monks determined that cutting caves into these structures well off the ground would provide the very best environment for solitude, reflection and prayer.

Imagination or “Devrent" Valley is a popular stop on this tour but a short one. Its a great spot for families to find the animal menagerie from the unique shapes of the rock formations.

Pigeon Valley is the area where homing pigeons were kept. Filled with small openings cut up high into the rocks to protect them from animals , homing pigeons were the ancient postal service, the whites from their eggs used to create paint for frescoes and to this day their droppings are used for fertiliser.

Accomodation: The experience of staying in a cave hotel is a superb way to cement the Cappadocian experience. Many have traditional Turkish Hammans which are tile covered steam rooms and definitely worth a visit after a hot day of sight seeing

We stayed at Exedra Cave Hotel a beautifully presented abode.

Our Owner & CEO, Tania Hird, wears stunning embroidered "Amelia" in Pink and elegant embroidered Linen"Hermoine" .

Day 2 Sunrise balloon Flight

The prices for a sunrise, one hour balloon flight are not for the faint hearted, nor is the pick up time of 4:45 am. The experience, which I convinced myself was a “ have to do because you are only here once” was fun and truly special. To soar above Goreme with hundreds of other flyers as the sun rose added another dimension to an already fantastical land. It is an experience I fully recommend.

Day 2 Green Tour

Many commentators argue the Green tour is the must do tour in Cappadocia. It can include areas such as the Goreme panorama and Pigeon valley and two of the largest underground cities . We choose it for the visit to the spectacular Ilhara valley hike and Seline Monastery.

The Kaymakli Underground City is incredible. Underground cities were first built by the Hittites. The Kaymakli Underground city is a narrow, underground maze of passageways and ancient homes and settlements that once housed over 3,500 people, from as far back as the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. Back then it was only one level predominantly as protection from Foreign invaders. Over time, it was expanded for food and wine storage purposes. There were not just houses built in the city, but cellars, stables, bakeries, and chapels. Ventilation shafts were also created to allow plenty of oxygen to reach the lower levels. They used large round boulders as doors, in case the city came under attack. Exploring the extensive caves, tunnels and stairwells is exciting, unique and a crash course in history and the clever ingenuities of living in the past.

Selime monastery and Castle complex is the largest and most elaborate cave complex in Cappadocia. The multi-level Byzantine settlement includes an enormous kitchen, two halls, a basilica church, and other rooms sculpted around two adjacent courtyards. The enormous size and prominent location indicate the importance of Selime Castle, which was built in the 900s. Wandering around this space is much like the other rock churches and Monasteries but on a larger, well protected scale, the views are incredible. Of important note is that this was church where Christianity was proclaimed to be an optional religion in Turkey.

Our Owner & CEO, Tania Hird, wears "Amelie" and uses a HairFlairAus packable Visor . Both luckily in her cabin luggage when they lost her suitcase en route.

Ilhara Valley is a canyon which is 15 km long and up to 150 m deep in the southwest of the Turkish region. It was relaxing, a lovely cool hike alongside a river which was an oasis in the middle of an otherwise barren topography. Finding rock churches high up in the walls of the Gorge were definitely a highlight as was having freshly squeezed orange juice in the middle of the stream.

I hope I have laid the seed for you to add Cappadocia m to your bucket list. By for now, we're off to Istanbul!….

The dresses in this Blog are designed by Tania Hird Designs in Australia. They are available on our website and from our sister brand The Earrings are also Tania Hird Designs. The HF visor pictured is HairFlair Aus by THD and is available in a range of colours.


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