Adventure Travel Blogging

Road Trip Across Anatolia

Road Trip Across Anatolia
There is an unwritten rule among travel companies to limit long drives, but we like to include at least one "road trip" that takes us overland traveling among local people through small towns, diverse landscapes and rural environs. Although we are moving 30 times faster than ancient camel caravans in Anatolia, we are traveling precisely along the same routes used by traders and travelers of ancient times. Along this route we take from Cappadocia across the Anatolian plateau where Christians dug underground cities for refuge from marauding thieves and infidels through Konya, over the pine-forested Taurus Mountains and on to Antalya on the Mediterranean, we pass by and stop to see numerous caravanserai, the road houses built by the Ottomans to protect travelers from marauding Arabs and foster trade in the empire. Konya was at the center of trade connecting east and west along the Silk Road, but also connecting travel...
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Friends With Cave Hotels

Friends With Cave Hotels
Having traveled to Cappadocia for over two decades, we have long-standing relationships with Turkish colleagues and friends who started adventure travel here like Haydar Haykir, the now 55-year old proprietor of Elkep Evi, our go-to boutique cave hotel. Haydar resides here, overseeing his small, personal hotel operation and reading philosophy from his cliff top, two-story cave dwelling. One night when the group went into town Anne and I stayed behind to have a quiet meal and catch up with him since the last time we visited. Twenty-three years ago Haydar’s was one of only three boutique cave hotels in Cappadocia—today there are over 300. “Everyone keeps trying to dig bigger and build better cave hotels with indoor pools, flat screen TVs and all the electronic gadgetry. I’m not going there…this is a cave after all,” Haydar insists. And that’s what we really like about him and using Elkep Evi for our...
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Hot Air Balloon Over Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Over Cappadocia
We have all concluded that Cappadocia is the best place on earth that any one of us has flown in a hot air balloon. And among this well traveled group we've flown over the Serengeti, Kings Valley of Egypt, and other beautiful locations. It's not just my opinion, but everyone in the group highly recommends to any other future Wildland travelers not to miss this incredible flight! We offer it as an optional activity, and it leaves early enough in the morning that it typically doesn't interfere with other programmed events during our stay in Cappadocia. Most of us booked the flight in advance as part of our Wildland Adventure and by the time we arrived the rest of the space on that flight  was fully booked when Don and Eve decided they wanted to go. But, as it turned out, we had enough people in our group that the balloon...
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Turkey Bizarre

Turkey Bizarre
Tina brought a magazine article all about Cappadocia entitled “Turkey Bizarre” she had cut out of a magazine some 15 years ago because it sparked her imagination and inspired her to travel here one day. On our our first night in this high Anatolian plateau as the sun was setting and our group gathered at Doug’s terrace overlooking this bizarre landscape with Cappadocian wine in hand, Tina happily announced, “It’s every bit as beguiling and romantic as I envisioned it would be when I filed the article away and declared I would come here some day.” Deep layers of volcanic tuft eroded over 30 million years have been shaped and molded into fantastic spires known as Peri Bacalari , or “fairy chimneys” in travel literature, but once you’re here you understand why they call one canyon we hiked through “Love Valley”: towering phallic formations of pointed basalt caps that resisted erosion...
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Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations

Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations
Since I was here with my family for the first time 50 years ago riding around in 1956 Chevy taxis, one I remember that used a built in 45 disc record player for a sound system, Istanbul has become an international hub more like New York City. Distinctive neighborhoods each with their own unique character and appeal worth exploring remain, each full of music venues with late night diners and neon lights, but with relics of ancient civilizations, mosques and minarets beautifully lit up against the night skyline, and the echoes of call to prayer that remind us this city once was Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul, has remained at the center of civilization. Indeed, Istanbul's cosmopolitan landscape is the business epicenter and playground of the greatest concentration of the world's billionaires after New York, London and Moscow.   As a matter of fact, Istanbul is breaking records for tourists...
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