Month: January 2014

Out of This World Cappadocia

I don’t say this often but Turkey’s Cappadocia is definitely a must see destination for any world traveler. The unique rock formations, or “fairy chimneys”, at Cappadocia are said to be the result of volcano ashes, basalt and lava deposited and shaped by earthquakes and erosion over time. As the rock below the top layer of basalt is extremely soft, it can be easily carved. Homes have been carved out of these formations and people still leave in them today. Staying in a “cave hotel” is a unique experience and we decided to give it a try during our stay in Cappadocia. The rooms look exactly like they sound, like caves, and are decorated with a few furniture pieces. In May, overnight temperatures in Cappadocia drop dramatically and sleeping in a cave is as authentic as it gets. The owner of the hotel seemed reluctant to turn on the electric heater but he did provide us with a multitude of blankets. Jumping out of bed and into the cold cave shower was a sure way to get us going …

Machu Picchu, The Land of the Incas

Machu Picchu (Old Peak) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We decided not to do the Inca trail so instead we traveled from Cuzco to Aquas Calientes, the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu lies. Aquas Calientes is a beautiful town at the edge of Willkanuta River surrounded by tall mountains and green forests. If you came all the way here to see Machu Picchu, you also have to climb Huayna Picchu (Young Peak), a nearby peak that provides amazing views of the ruins on Machu Picchu. Access to Huayna is limited to 400 people per day and entry is allowed on a first come first serve basis. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning to get on one of the first shuttles going to the entry point to the peaks. The light of day was just coming out and the peaks were covered in fog. The place looked mystical which seemed  appropriate since some of the rooms in the complex at Machu Pichhu are believed to have been …