3 Best Restaurants in Goreme, Cappadocia

3. Cafe Safak.

Muze Cadessi no 28 | (On the way to the Goreme open air museum), Goreme 50180, Turkey. +90 384 271 2597

It’s a family owned cafe, whereby you can sit there the whole day to just enjoy the afternoon breeze, and to avoid the strong sun at noon times. Most of the meals are homemade by the owner’s mom.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

They said the most favorite menus are Latte,  The Lentils Soup and the Gözleme. so went to try it out :

Gözleme – savory traditional Turkish Pastry dish.

SONY DSC

It’s something like Indian Prata that you can filled with various types.  we Ordered Cheese and Mushroom that time, and it was not bad at all. it’s rather dry compared to Prata.

Baklava – Turkish dessert, a Turkish sweet pastry with nuts and fillings. 

SONY DSC

It feels like eating Bollen Bandung from Indonesia with Ice cream. The texture is Crispy outside, sofy and chewy inside. 
2. Cappadocian Cuisine
Uzundere Caddesi NO:5/B, Goreme 50180, Turkey. +90 536 964 62 25
Dont judge the book by it’s cover. The restaurant banner may not be as nice as the others, and maybe the place doesnt look fancy at all. But all I can say is, they have the most reasonable price and size for a great local taste! 
SONY DSC
Appetizer
SONY DSC
Lentils Soup
SONY DSC Kofte Casserole – Meatballs (beef) in oval shape. 
SONY DSCMost meals come with free Salad, and the rice smells so nice, and very soft like Japanese rice. It looks like they are using same gravy as well for most of the meals. so, it’s like changing the meats only. 
Chicken Casserole
SONY DSC
 Turkish Pasta
SONY DSC
 And Highlight of the Day is : Pottery Chicken Kebab!
SONY DSC The way they present the meal is very fascinating. The bowl above was already opened. So, before they open it, it looks like a giant egg. After that, they are turning the ‘big egg’ and stated knocking the spoon around the pot, until you can hear a ‘pop’ sound. and there you go, Pottery Kebab is ready to enjoy.
1. TopDeck Cave Restaurant
Hafiz Abdullah Efendi Sokak 15, Goreme 50180, Turkey. 90 384 271 2474
All i can say is, this is a must visit restaurant when you are coming to Goreme. A lovely place up in the hill and inside a cave. Yes, a cave! Cappadocia is famous for it’s cave hotel. If you want to feel how it feels like to eat in a cave restaurant, Topdeck is a right place to go.
SONY DSC
SONY DSC
SONY DSCA very traditional settings and lovely ambiance like we are dining in middle east countries. haha.  This place is rather small, so i suggest you to make a reservation first before coming. That time we came quite late for our dinner,and just nice they have a place to sit for 5 of us.
Chicken Kebab , Kofte (Meatballs) , and a free salad
SONY DSCAll the meals here are pretty the same with other restaurants, but what makes the different is the spices that they are using. it’s feels very rich and different from the others. Same goes with the rice as well, it’s like they are putting some spices as well, not just a normal plain rice.
Lamb Shank
SONY DSC
And Highlights Meals for the day is Lamb Borek – Lamb springroll filled with cheese. They said it’s one of the most authentic Turkish dish ever.
SONY DSCIt feels like eating ‘Lumpia’, an Indonesian eggroll snack, but in a whole new level. Definitely, a must try!
 

Koza Cave Hotel

History said, the city of Cappadocia formed millions years ago by volcanic eruptions.

That is why most buildings there are made from natural rocks, and surrounded by hills and valleys.

I was so excited when i know that we will stay in one of the cave hotel in Goreme, Cappadocia.

We were from Istanbul that time, so we need to take a 45-60 minutes flight from Ataturk Airport (Istanbul) to Nevsehir Airport (Goreme,Cappadocia) by Turkish Airlines.

Initially, we wanted to take public transport from Nevsehir airport to the Koza Cave hotel, but after we did our research, Goreme is not so public-transport friendly. the bus there only come every 30-45 minutes, and once you reached the bus station, you still need to drag your luggage up and down the hills to reach your cave hotel.

Finally we decided to take shuttle bus that managed by some transportation company *cant remember what company that we engaged*, it cost us about 15-20 EUR / trip if im not wrong.  Just like every shuttle bus in all around the world, they will stop in a few places (hotels) . Luckily our hotel is the first stop. hehe.. it was quite a journey from the airport to the hotel. it took us about 50 minutes to reach Koza Cave Hotel.

The great thing about the van is.. they have a WIFI in it. hahaha *first-world problem!* haha. i was quite amazed when i saw a very big user ID and password that they paste on the van’s dashboard. really like this kind of van! hahaha.

Once we arrived in Koza Cave Hotel, It was scorching hot outside. it’s like the sun is just shine right above you. i thought it will be better inside. so, we quickly went in to the Lobby, which looks like a normal living room and did our check in.

I was surprised that the lobby doesn’t have any air-con, but have the cooling feeling, even though i still feel very hot and humid inside. what made me even more surprised is the have no air-con inside the room as well. i asked one of the hotel owner (it’s run by one friendly family), why there’s no air-con over their place? they said, because it’s cold at night and the rocks will give you the cooling feeling.

and you know what, when i touched the room walls (made from rocks).. it really is cold.. and i was shivering at night because it is too cold.. haha.. luckily they already provide us with a thick blanket to sleep in. haha..

*itu fenomenal aneh bngt menurut gw.. siang.nya puanas bngt udara di luar.. dan pas masuk cave.nya tuh jadi adem2 gimana gt. haha.. udah kyk udara di gurun pasir deh pokok.nyaa.. *

and all that i can say is please do stay at cave hotel when you are staying in Cappadocia.. it’s a very rare and great experience that you will be having. hehe.. especially for us who stayed in Asia i may say.

below are some pretty photos from Koza Cave Hotel.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The view opposite the hotel

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

That’s our room on the left side.. and you can hang around outside.. *ngobrol2 cantik gt di sofa.nya.. hehehe*

SONY DSC

*romantic ambience in the room*

SONY DSC

 

*open concept bathroom. haha.. everyone must go out first if someone do their big business. muahhahaha. tapi kalo lagi mandi aja enak wangi.nyaa. hehe*

SONY DSC

 

*a little ‘santai’ corner*

SONY DSC

pretty isnt it? Major Love! ❤

 

 

ATV Ride in Cappadocia

My heart was aching when we know that we could not ride the Hot Air Ballon that time.

We only stayed in Cappadocia for 2 days 1 night, and only have that only morning to fly and see the beauty of Goreme, Cappadocia.  Everything has been booked for the balloon ride that morning. Samed from Koza Cave Hotel *a very pretty cave hotel* helped us to arrange a ride with Butterfly Balloon. 

we already woke up at 4am, got ready and waiting eagerly at the lobby by 4.20am. waiting for the driver to come and pick us up at 4.30am. not long after that, the driver come with a paper and talked with Samed’s father (the hotel owner) in some local language.

The hotel owner said that we could not go for the hot air balloon because of the bad weather. and the driver also added this statement

‘Go up Okay, Go down Problem’

haha.. very funny statement yaa..

oh yaa.. the people in Goreme are all very nice and helpful, eventho they speak little english..

me and amel was very sad to hear that.. there gone our wish to see beautiful sunrise in Cappadocia.. =(

But luckily few hours before the disappointment, we already went for the ATV ride.

Actually this ATV Ride was also an impromptu one.

we never plan to have any. only when we walked down to Goreme Open Air Museum, we saw people are riding and ATV and saw ATV rental around the corner.

we came to visit and asked how much does it cost, blablabla..

i cant remember exactly on how much we spend for the ATV, it was not that cheap too.. i think around 40 Eur if im not wrong for an hour ride.

we were lead by the local youngsters to see a sunset on a hill.

there’s an option whereby you can rent the ATV for a day and go around Goreme too.

riding an ATV was very fun experience.  it’s like driving a big motorbike with 4 wheels. haha..

SONY DSC

The youngsters lead us to 3 places.

– The local church, a place where no one of wanted to go, because we must hike up. haha.. so we just stay there for a while and go again to the second sightseeing place.

– The Second place was a higher ground where we can see some valley from there.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

*they gave us shower cap before putting on our helmet. haha.. so cute!*

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

– And the third last place was our final destination. The Sunset Place.

There’s a funny story.

Raimond found this place so pretty, and so did we.

so he go and ask 1 of the youngsters this question.

‘ What’s this place name?’

‘ My name is … ‘

‘ No.. this place, what’s the name?’

‘ Ohh.. Sunset Place’ *smiling*

hahahaha.. yahh kurang lebih gt deh ceritanya.. lupa2 inget. hahaha..

 

Yes, it is a hill for us to see the sunset, but we dont know what’s the name of the place until today..  haha..

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Pretty, isnt it?

oh.. the one thing that i dont like while driving ATV was the sand that keep going in to your eyess.. gahhh..

i already wore a spectacles that time, cannot imagine if im using my contact lense.

and you can share the ATV if you want to cut the cost. hehe.. anyway, after a while your hands will get very tired, especially your right thumb because you must keep pressing for the gas. haha..

but overall, it was such a great great experience, something that you must do if you are visiting Cappadocia.

 

Istanbul : Turkey Kebab

I think most people knows that Turkey is famous for its Kebab..

we were in Turkey for 6 days.. 

and we ate Kebab for almost everyday.. haha

*im not sure if we ate that everyday because we are simply in Turkey and it is famous for its Kebab or we did not know any other food there except the Kebab* hahaha.  

so, before i tour you to all the Kebab’s restaurant..

for those of you who does not know what Kebab is..

It is like pieces of grilled meat..either they make it to small skewers.. or they just slice it directly from their big skewers. hahaha.. do i make any sense here? hahahaha..

 

Well.. i think it’s better to proceed to the pictures directly. haha.. 

Our first restaurant in Istanbul – SultanAhmed Koftecisi 

i think it’s like Singapore’s kopitiam or coffee shop. haha..

this restaurant located nearby the Basilica Cistern.. 

 they always have bread for appetizers.

 Corba = Soup *i think its lentils soup* haha

the taste was okay. i think it’s just me who dont like lentils. haha..

*rasanya sedikit kayak kacang ijo indonesia tapi ga se enak kacang ijo. hahahaha*

Meatball.

i dont know why they call it meatball. since meatball is always round, doesnt it? hehe..

if im not wrong this meat ball is beef meat

and the Shish Kebab down there is made from lamb meat..

owhh. and let me introduce ‘AYRAN’ to youu..

so almost everyone in that koftecisi ordered ayran as their drink..

we were very curious why?

so we decided to ask the waiter what is it..

the waiter said it’s something like milk.. so we decided to try out one.

we thought it’s something like soy bean milk.

but we were wrong. hahaha..

it’s YOGURT !

after tasting it we were like.. 

ermm.. how a person can eat kebab with drinking yogurt drink? wouldnt it taste funny in your mouth? 

but we figured out that it’s for your health purpose..

kebab is very ‘heaty’ like lamb meat for example..

so. they drink ayran to ‘cool’ it down.. 

well.. thats what we know. please tell us if it’s not true.. haha.. 

 

Second restaurant – Hamdi Restaurant

located nearby Galata Bridge.. 

okay.. so this restaurant served the kebab on skewers.. 

the place is more high class than the koftecisi..

as for the food.. the kebab taste is richer than koftecisi. 

and for the rice.. it’s like garlic fried rice. 

this restaurant cost double than koftecisi. 

well. i think its true that ‘price never lie’. haha. 

 

so sad that we could not get the tables by the window..

i bet it’s a nice view of Galata bridge and the sunset. hehe.. 

 

Third Restaurant – some random restaurant along Grand Bazaar

 Chicken Kebab with Yogurt – the turkish name is et iskandar

i thought it was weird eating the chicken with yogurt..

and guess what??

it is weird..! ahahahha..

well.. the yogurt is nice.. but i think they just dont go along well.. 

we ended up eating the chicken and the yogurt separately.. hehe.. 

 

stay tune for more kebabs post..

because after Istanbul, we are going to Cappadocia.. hehe.  

so, wait for Cappadocia’s food post. haha..

 

**to be honest.. all the kebabs are nice..

eventho some are too dry sometimes that makes you very thirsty after eating..  

but i cant take kebabs everyday.. *eneggg broooo.. hahaha* 

luckily i brought instant noodle there..

Pop-Mie (indonesian instant noodle) to the rescue.. !!

cant imagine if i did not bring it there.. hahaha..

 

Cheers,

Instant noodle lover and someone who now, had enuf of Kebab. hahaha.

 

Istanbul : Grand Bazaar & Spice Market

Your Istanbul trip is not complete without visiting Grand Bazaar and Spice Market.

both are very localized market.. very authentic and unique..

 

let us start with Grand Bazaar.

Since byzantine years, Grand Bazaar play a huge part in Istanbul economics.

it’s like the first ever shopping malls in that era..

people from all over Turkey go there to do some trading.. 

and like its name.. the market is very grand.. haha.. 

very huge with its high ceiling..

myriad shops in labyrinth like.. where you can lost yourself in it. 

and it’s a great place to shop, only if you know the art of bargaining. 

seriously.. i overheard a tourist got scammed here.. 

we (me and the tourist) were standing in front of a shawl shop looking at some of their offer..

when he was looking very carefully at the shawl.. his friends suddenly came and said this to him..

 

‘wow.. that looks exactly the same like the shawl that you bought just now.. how much is it here?’

‘ 10 TL mann..’ *10 TL is about 5 SGD.

‘ ohh.. and how much you bought earlier?’

‘ 100 TL’

‘ ohh mannn.. is there any different? maybe your is softer? haha’

‘ i dont know man.. i think it feels the same’

 

and 3 of them left after that..

so sad to hear thatt..

that’s why i said you should have the art of bargaining over here.. hoho..

well.. enuf said of the ‘tourist trap’.. i think all cities have this kind of things thoo.. they earn from the tourist.  hehe.. 

if you love those carpets.. silks. shawls.. jewelry..  antique things.. lamps.. and authentic things from Turkey,

you surely should try to pay this bazaar a visit.

 

and eventho you dont like to shop..

just came here and look around.. because i think some shop are just pretty to see..hehe..

i guess i just love to look at colorful things..  

*it’s like mangga dua (in jakarta), but it’s way cooler. hahahaha*

the merchants are nice i may say..

and we met 1 funny merchant too.. 

 

we were walking down that alley.. 

and 1 merchant was screaming at us saying, ‘excusemeee.. excusemeee.. you drop something’

we heard that clearly, but we just walk off..

then he screamed the same things again..

and then we stopped for a while, because i thought i dropped my hat, since i only hooked it to my sling bag..

and do you know what the merchant did after we turned our head to the floor??

 

he pointed the floor and slowly directed his finger to his shop,

and smile handsomely with ‘i got you, girls’ kind if look.  

ahhahaha.. very funny right…

me, ci bombie and amel could not stop laughing after thatt..

we were like.. OMG.. it is too creative to attract people to see his shop. hahahaha. 

but i bought it.. it is indeed very cute way to catch our attention. hahahha.

 

secondly is Spice Market.

this market is not as big as Grand Bazaar. 

since it’s name is Spice Market..

so their specialty is in selling spices and Turkish delights.. 

they also sell shawls, clothes, handcrafted things, and other items like what Grand Bazaar have.

i found it cheaper than Grand Bazaar.. but too bad.. we cant stay there for long since we have to go to Princess island after that.. hoho.. 

 

i think it’s very recommended to buy turkish delights here, since you got to try a lot of things, and you can buy a few pieces rather than buying one whole box of the delights..  

 *owhh.. there’s a free wifi in this shop ! ahahahah.. i was just trying my luck to connect to the wifi, and very surprised when i started receiving whatsapp messages right after.. hahahha.. 

 

Museum Hopping in Istanbul

If Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be it’s capital – Napoleon Bonaparte

 

We started our Istanbul trip with Museum Hopping.

knowing that Istanbul have a very rich cultural history, i am not surprised that they have sooo many museums in it. 

there’s a card called MUZE – Museum Pass Istanbul that you can purchase if you are a museum lovers.. haha..

but we decided not to buy one, since we just want to visit 4 museums, and unfortunately not all museums are included in the Museum Pass.

 

Museum pass cost about 85 TL (Turkish Lira) = about SGD 50

and for the 4 museums that we about to visit cost us about 60 TL = about SGD 35

 

1. Blue Mosque – free entrance.

The blue tiles that surround the walls made it called Blue Mosque. 

They say Ahmed The First wanted to build something that can beat Hagia Sophia (previously was a church)

so yeahh.. so here we are in the Blue Mosque.. 

 Mad Queue with sun-kissed-skin

*ini cewek kecil centil bngt gaya.nya.. ahhaha.. sampe akhirnya gw voto juga dehh.. mungkin busana kyk doi harus di balut semua kali yah pas masuk mosque.nya..

tapi gw kurang paham juga sihh ada peraturan lain ga buat anak kecill.. hoho*

 Super Exquisite details for the interior. 

 oh ya, for ladies..

please bring your shawl or scarf to enter this mosque..

because you need to cover your hair..

no singlet and shorts too.. hehe..

well. if you dont wear one.. they will lend you some blue cloth to cover you up.

 

owhh.. they will ask you to take off your shoes as well..

so you will be given a plastic bag to put your shoes.. so cute yahh.. hehe..

but because of that..

the mosque become a bit smelly.. =(

the Mosque is super hugeeee.

i dont know how many people it can fit.

Our visit there was quite short because too many people inside..

just take a few pictures there and take a short look.

ohh.. we also met many many Indonesian here.. haha..

ohh.. and they are using carpet for the floor.

cannot imagine when it comes to cleaning. hauhaua.. 

Blue Mosque Located at Sultan Ahmed.. 

and it opens everyday..

but you cant enter the mosque if the are having their prayer *the 5 times a day prayer / Shalat. 

 

2. Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) – 25 TL

Hagia Sophia which means ‘Holy Wisdom’ is not far from Blue Mosque.

to be exact, its just the opposite of Blue Mosque..

see my last pictures above..

behind us is Blue Mosque..

and in front of us – not far from there is Hagia Sophia.. haha..

the Q here is worse than blue mosque.. ~.~`

*terik.nya matahari disana tuh bener2 menghujam jantung bngt*

 

we went there during summer time.. (June 2013)

so it is very very recommended for you to bring a hat / scarf to cover your head.

i think you can faint soon if you Q there without a hat.. 

ohh.. do bring water everywhere too to keep yourself hydrated too..


Hagia sophia was formerly a Church. then it became a Mosque.. then now it becomes a Museum..

dont asked me on the historical side on how exactly it changes from time to time.. haha..

i just knew that when the Byzantine period ended.. then the Ottoman made it as a mosque.. haha.. 

again. another jaw-dropping interior design..

the dome, the hemisphere, the mozaic, the decoration.. all just fall in the right place that makes Hagia Sophia beautiful.

hahaha.. *im talking as if i know architecture* hahaha..

*above picture taken from livescience.com*

i forgot to take the front look of the bulding.. =(

 

anyway.. it’s how it looks like in the inside.. hehe

too bad some construction are in progress when we were there. 

but nevertheless.. it’s still looks great.. hehe.. 


3. Basilica Cistern – 10 TL

The Museum that somehow i like the most among the 4 Museums.. 

and luckily for this one.. the Q was not that long.. 


It’s the Medusa’s Crib. haha..

well.. not really Medusa’s crib..

it was actually a place to store water during Byzantine’s period.. 

and they found some big stone / sculpture that resembles Medusa’s face.. 

i quite like some Greek mythology.. so that’s why i like this place the most. haha..


the place is so cooling.. you can feel water dripping from above as well.

many pillars / columns over there..

and they set the lighting quite dark that makes a bit of eerie atmosphere.. haha.. 

owh.. above is some stories about Medussa..

so the Greek Myth said that Medusa was a very beautiful lady.

she has long black hair, beautiful black eyes, gorgeous body and she was very proud of it.

Perseu, the son of Zeus fell in love with Medusa.

but at the same time Athene, one of the goddess likes Perseus.

 

and here comes the drama..

Athene used her power to turned Medusa’s black hair to horrible snakes,

and everyone will turned into stone IF they see into Medusa’s eyes..

when Perseus knows that, he beheaded Medusa.

*im not so sure why he did this to the one he love.. ~.~`*

after the ‘murder’. Perseus used Medusa’s head to stoned all his enemies and won many wars after that..

what a story, huh? 

here, i can imagine like how Medusa will ‘play’ with you in the midst of the pillars and waters. haha.. 

*scaryyy*

 

Ci Gill said the famous thriller-ficton writer-Dan Brown makes this place as the last destination to solved the mystery.

after visited this place, it makes me want to read the book.

im sure there will be some ‘goosebumps moments’ when you read that. haha..

Basicila Cistern is not very far from Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia as well.. 

these 3 Museums located nearby each other..

you will see a lot of  people queuing here and there.. hehe..

 

4. Topkapi Palace. – 25 TL

This is the largest Museum of all..

well.. it was a Palace of Ottoman Sultans in the first place.. so, what do you expect? haha..

it is freaking huge until we dont know where to go already. ahhaha..

they have several courts and many many rooms.. like the king’s dressing rooms / tea room / accessories room / gifts room / entertainment room / etc etc..  

all the rooms are nice.. all are build with expensive materials i assume. haha..

some are coated by gold too ! 

ohh.. if you dont want to Queue, they have an automatic ticket machine just beside the counter..

we figured it out when 3 of them are queuing.

me and amel tried out the ticket machine..

we thought it was out of order because no one is using..  

but it worked ! hahaha.. so we ended up to buy the tix from the machine. and people start using it after our turn. haha.

basically that all for our Museum Hopping.. hehe..

just dressed properly and enjoy the history ! hehe..