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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A new Turkish Hotel made out of caves

When I first read about this on Yahoo and saw the photo, I had a feeling I had been there before. Turns out I have...uh, kinda.
Last time I was Cappadocia, it was 2004, we were in a pretty new war in the Middle East, and I was on an awesome tour in Turkey. The Cappadocia region still remains one of my favorite places on earth mainly because it is so different from anywhere else I had been and nearly anywhere I've been since.
I was told by our tour guide that scenes from the latest Star Wars movies were filmed in this part of Turkey, mainly because it really did look like another planet.
On top of that, the area has these fun landmarks called "Fairy chimneys" which are naturally-carved out of the earth from similar rock as this new hotel.
The new 30-room, 5-star Yunak Evleri hotel, by the way, is carved into a mountain, and it six cave houses and a 19th-century Greek mansion. And there is still wireless. Amazing.
The hotel probably isn't far from Pamukkale which is a hard to describe area (photo below) with calcium mineral baths that have formed a white colored cliff that can be seen for miles. The photo looks very inviting but when I was there, the world heritage site had strict rules about visiting - you couldn't wear shoes and you technically weren't allowed to bathe in the water. I remember it smelling and looking kinda funny so I didn't really want to. There was another mineral bath nearby, also near some Roman Empire ruins, that you could bathe in though. Story has it that Cleopatra went there.

The Cappadocia area, in the eastern part of Turkey, is a volcanic region which is why there are so many cool rocks and formations. There are times like these when I wish I was better in geology. I actually saw my first volcano in Turkey in this region. Ah, memories.
So, I was happy to see that they were using the soft limestone to carve out new attractions. While the country is immensely popular with European tourists, namely the British and German, it still has not really caught on in the U.S.
Just doing my part to change that...


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