Girls Weekend in Cappadocia

I love Cappadocia. It’s a 5-hour bus ride from Ankara and our go-to getaway for long weekends. Even though it’s kind of touristy, it’s a relaxed place. We always stay at the same hostel in Göreme and have a routine when we visit. Coffee, shopping, eating, sightseeing, repeat. Two of my friends are moving back to the States, and we had a last hoo-rah trip with them in the middle of May.

One of our favorite coffee stops is Cafe Şafak (and our second favorite is Mydonose Cafe):


Cafe Şafak


Cafe Şafak coffee


We took a minibus to Avanos for some pottery shopping:


Avanos pottery shop


Avanos pottery


The first time we visited Avanos, we found the Chez Galip Hair Museum and were so freaked out we ran away. After researching it online, I found out they weren’t actually going to murder me and keep my hair. A friend and I went in for a closer look.


Hair Museum Avanos


The man wouldn’t let me take a photo in the room. (But Google has lots of photos!) It was a lot bigger than I thought it’d be. So, so creepy! It’s the largest collection of human hair. Women donate a lock and write their contact info on a note card. The museum started in 1979 and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Here’s just a peek of what’s inside:


Hair Museum Avanos


You know when you come across those amazing little restaurants or shops that just make your trip? One of the best surprises on our trip was the Pumpkin Art Gallery Restaurant. (Check out their Facebook page here.) It was opened in September of 2013 by a man who had worked as a chef in Istanbul for 15 years. He and his wife are originally from the Cappadocia area and wanted to move back.


Pumpkin Restaurant in Göreme


Every day the owner goes to the pazar and creates a set menu based on what’s available and in season. The food was the absolute best I’ve had in Turkey. For 35TL (about $18 USD), we enjoyed an amazing four course meal (soup, meze salad, beef and noodle entree, and baklava dessert). This little restaurant was Turkish hospitality at its finest. They were so sweet and even gave us little gifts — Turkish coin pouches a key chains.

One of my friends is gluten free. She uses a card that explains her dietary needs in Turkish, but bread is such a staple in Turkish food that a lot of times her meals come out wrong. That was NOT the case here. The owner altered every course perfectly. He also helped us celebrate her birthday and they gave us an amazing cake.

I cannot say enough about how wonderful this place is. It’s our new favorite restaurant in Göreme:


Pumpkin Restaurant in Göreme


A couple of us got up early to watch the hot air balloon launch. Since sunrise is a lot earlier now, it was tough waking up. But this is worth it every time:


Göreme balloons


Göreme balloons


Göreme balloons


Turkish hot air balloon


We also hiked Ihlara Valley on our trip. I’ll share more about that soon!


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