On the surface, Cappadocia is known for its incredible and extreme landscape. But a large part of what makes that landscape especially unique is its region’s cultural history.
I initially wanted to do a simple cave hotel review, however, upon interviewing Yunal, the manager of my hotel, Kelebek Cave Hotel (review coming soon!), the story of Cappadocia’s cave hotels grew into something more special. With that, I’ll let Yunal tell you part of my adventure story.
Watch the video and learn about what cave hotels so popular and …what that thingie in my bathroom is?
•••• Written Transcript: ••••
(Background music: prayer calls in )
Yunal: Kelebek Cave Hotel, .. Kelebek means butterfly. It used to be my grandmother’s house. Now guests stay here so it is special for me. Kelebek is in Göreme town. Göreme is in Cappadocia. Cappadocia is a region. It covers a few cities inside and a many small villages. We are located in the most beautiful spot of Göreme. Many places are within walking distance. You don’t need a car for places like Rose Valley, Red Valley and the Open Air Museum.
Me: I think I’m going to make an effort to be on time for breakfast every day that I’m here.
Farming in Cappadocia
Yunal: Cappadocia we were actually all farmers. We grow here potatoes. We have many vineyards. Apricots, mulberries, walnuts, …we used to all grow those things and that’s how our life was. …So one of the tours of this hotel, we serve lunch in one of this farm. Organic farm. It’s my grandfather’s farm.
Me: So it looks like I’m going to have to work out for my breakfast. I guess that’s fine. Nothing like a morning hike. And what a beautiful hike it is!
The popularity of cave hotels in Cappadocia
Yunal: Today we have 47 rooms. Many of them are cave, some of them are stone and some of them are arch room. Caves are popular here because it’s different. Because it’s different than the other hotels. It’s different feeling to live in a cave. I think it reminds people of old times. …You can see small frescoes.
Me: Oh this is cute.
Yunal: This used to be a church.
Me: This used to be a church?
Yunal: That room is almost 1100 years old.
Me: Wow. I love these keys. Totally old school.
Yunal: Your room is stone room. But your bathroom is cave.
Me: (making noise) I’ve never been in a bathroom that echoes.
What are Turkish Hammam Baths?
Me: I’m not sure what to do with that. Hmm…. I’m not sure what to do with this. … Looks like a Turkish Bath thingie. …I also have this, this… uh, marble sink.
Yunal: Ahh! that is our hammam Turkish bath.
Me: I had a feeling about that.
Yunal: Yeah. That’s how we used to take a shower before. There’s a marble, like a small cup and two pipes… hot and cold water. So you mix it with warm water together and after you sit on the marble and take a shower.
Me: Okay, so I can hammam myself.
Yunal: Yes, you can hammam yourself. We just wanted to show hotel guests both. Hammam and then today’s modern shower.
Me: Awesome. Cool. I should hammam myself one of these nights.