Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

I’d heard it a million times, but until I actually visited Turkey this past spring break, I didn’t quite realize just how it incredible and beautiful it is. Finally, I took the dive and decided to see it for myself and planned a visit to Istanbul and Cappadocia.

With flights out to Istanbul from Houston going for less than the price of a ticket to San Francisco, I decided it would be worth it to give Turkey a try this March, for my weeklong spring break. As I made my way through Istanbul, there was a beautiful energy I couldn’t describe. Scents of delicious spices and food wafted through the air as the sounds of boat horns echoed through the breezy streets. Street markets in Kadiköy sold a mountain of fruits and vegetables, some of a variety I’d never seen before. And of course, I’d spend nights sitting in local restaurants, listening to the upbeat sounds of Turkish folk music while indulging in the amazing people-watching that came along with it.

The Stunning Interior of the Blue Mosque - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

The Interior of the Hagia Sophia - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful PhotosThe Streets of Istanbul at Night - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

A Street Stall in Istanbul at Night - Beautiful Istanbul and Cappadocia

Samples at a Food Stall in Istanbul - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

The Streets of Taskim in Istanbul in Black and White - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

Fish for Sale at the Market in Istanbul - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

A View of Taskim in Istanbul from Across the Bosphorus - Beautiful Istanbul and Cappadocia in PhotosSeagulls Flying Over the Bosphorus in Istanbul - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

Then, I jetted off to Cappadocia, a completely different planet than Istanbul. As I stepped off the plane, miles of desert-like plains and giant rock formations surrounded me. It was almost like being on Mars, except probably much better because of the crisp air and cool breeze. A great majority of the houses are built into the land, and there are some that have rooms with cave walls and flat roof terraces. I stayed in a tiny town called Ortahasir in a cave hotel resting just underneath the city’s famous rock castle, one of the highest points in the entire region.

The Mars-Like Landscape of Cappadocia - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

The Rock Formations of Cappadocia - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

Yet, the most breathtaking part of my week in Istanbul and Cappadocia was getting into a hot air balloon and seeing the eerie, unique landscape of Cappadocia from above. Words can’t quite describe the feeling of being in a hot air balloon, but drifting seems to accurately paint the picture. Before 6 o’clock in the morning, we were hundreds of feet in the air, marveling at the picturesque area until the sun’s rays began to shower our faces with light. The photos I took are just a mere glimpse at the raw beauty of this mysterious place. It was a marvelous spectacle, and a morning I will never forget.

Hot Air Balloons Above Cappadocia - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

The Sunrise Over Cappadocia with Hot Air Balloons - Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

 

Have you ever experienced the beauty of Istanbul and Cappadocia?  What was your favorite part?

 

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Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos

30 thoughts on “Istanbul and Cappadocia in Beautiful Photos”

  1. Har ki dun valley trail isn’t treaded upon too often; birds and animals thrive in this region. One can spot languor families near Puani Garaat. Black bears, wild boars, and Barasingha are a few of the other animals you can spot if you’re lucky. Golden eagles and massive Himalayan griffins also live here. The colorful Himalayan Monal, the state bird of Uttarakhand, thrives in the forests here. The cradle shaped valley has many ancient villages that are over 3,000 years old. This is also one of the few treks to come across the local lifestyle nearby. Most of the residents here grow rajma, potato, and rice for a living.

  2. The Chadar trek, an adventurous ice trek in Zanskar Valley, is best undertaken during January and February when the Zanskar River freezes into a thick sheet of ice due to the extreme weather conditions. Chadar Trek is one of the most beautiful treks, as you walk on the frozen river. The best time to hike Chadar Trek is mid-January to end-February when most groups trek the frozen river.

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  4. I can’t believe it was cheaper to get to Turkey than San Fransisco! How insane is that. I’d love to do a two destination holiday in Turkey like this, was a week long enough or could you have had longer? Your pictures really are beautiful as are your descriptions of Istanbul 🙂 New fan here xD

  5. Ahh this post got me all nostalgic again! I spent a few weeks last summer studying abroad in Turkey and it is just such a beautiful country. I want to go back to Istanbul someday so badly. I miss waking up to the call to prayer and walking through the courtyard that separates the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. And I did not get to do the balloon ride in Cappadocia so of course I want to go back for that. We did go through some of the underground cities though which was really cool (:

    My most recent blog post is actually about my experience walking through the Hagia Sophia and the impact it had on me.

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