The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hellesylt, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

It's a big money business!

But some news to tell you before we get to that. 

Yesterday, I booked our ferry tickets from Denmark to Norway. I booked us return tickets for €192 ($263 CAD, $211 USD) each way. The further in advance you book, the cheaper the tickets are so I wanted to get that done as soon as we were comfortable with the dates.

We depart June 1st, so now we are on another time schedule! 

We have to be out of Turkiye April 20th, and on the ferry to Norway June 1st. But we also have to watch our Schengen visa time so we will be spending as much time as possible in Bulgaria and Romania and then making a fairly quick drive from Romania to Denmark during the last two weeks or so of May.

Then we return to Denmark July 26th. and fly out of Amsterdam to Canada August 5th.

So, our travel plans are all booked for the next five months!

We woke up to a beautiful blue sky day yesterday!

There are a lot of hiking trails around Goreme. And Max is parked in a very central location (in fact, we really lucked out with our parking spot!) and so it is easy to set off in any direction and go hiking right away. 

The landscape is truly fascinating which of course is the main reason people come here. But in our opinion most people don't see the best parts, which you can only see from hiking. The typical visitor to Cappadocia sees the overpriced Open Air Museum, they do a guided area tour, and they take a balloon ride. The average visit here is for 2-3 days.

But we are here for the hiking, and there is lots of it!

Yesterday we did the Pigeon Valley hike from Goreme to Uchisar. We didn't see another person on the trail the whole time!

Ruth, saying hello to the horses. 
You can see where Max is parked on the left.

This old wooden chest was lying on top of a pile of junk!

Looking back at Max in the center of the photo.

Almost all of the sandstone rocks and "fairy chimneys" have caves or rooms carved into them. Most of them were carved out between the 12th and 6th centuries BC. Of course there are many that have been carved out since then as well, so it's difficult to go anywhere in the region and not see some kind of cave carved into the rock.

And many are still being lived in today!

A more modern structure added on to the caves.

There are odd rock formations everywhere.




Just a bird.


All of the pictures I've shown you so far are just on the outskirts of Goreme. We haven't even made it to the trail yet. And so there are also a lot of hotels and restaurants and cafes. So amongst all of this beautiful scenery, you come across places like this...

Yes, Cappadocia is very much a tourist spot.

Pigeon nests carved into the rock.

Pigeon Valley is so named because they used pigeon droppings as fertilizer to grow grapes back in the ancient times. And there are still pigeons living in the valley.

Yes, there are a lot of odd rock formations!

Ruth and the scenery.

Me and the scenery.

Pigeon Valley.

Scenery along the way.

Ruth.

We did a fair bit of uphill.

Cool rocks.

And then we got a view of Uchisar.

Ruth and the view of Uchasar.

We weren't originally planning to, but we decided to hike all the way up to the top of Uchasar.

Who needs a balloon when you are a hiker??

Me, and the view above Pigeon Valley.

This turkey was showing off for us.

Taking a break.

Saying hello to a friendly puppy along the way.

Stone carving.

The top of Uchisar.

Unfortunately they wanted 50 lira to climb to the very top and we thought that was overpriced so didn't bother. Never heard so much English being spoken since we were in Antalya!

Still lots to see without paying the extra.




Views from Uchisar.

We walked along the main road to get back to Max for a late lunch. Then we walked over to some of the head offices of the balloon companies. Four of them are located very close to where Max is parked.

There are approximately 27 balloon companies in the area, and many of them belong to a price fixing consortium. I found this article from 2019...


It's a big money business, and it's not priced in local currency. Most of them want €170 to €180 per person for a basic trip. The best price we could get so far is €140 ($191 CAD, $153 USD) per person. We simply don't see good value at that price. There is enough to keep us busy here without having to spend that kind of money. One girl even told us that the consortium still exists and most companies charge the same general price. Last year during Covid prices were really cheap (€60 to €80) because there were simply not many tourists around.

A secondary problem is that the weather hasn't been good for ballooning. The trips have been cancelled the last three days, and again today. So now they have a backlog of people who haven't been able to go, and therefore they don't have any incentive to offer a deal at this time.

This is the third time we have made an effort to go in a hot air balloon, and the third time it hasn't worked out. Once was in Albuquerque in April 2013, and another was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Oh well. It's something that will get done someday. We're not that concerned.

Cloudy start to the day today, but we are off for another hike!

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Nice price drop on the Apple Watch SE.

And in Canada...

17 comments:

  1. We got a deal on a balloon ride in Pamukkale, EUR45 each. It was a wonderful ride and much cheaper than Cappadocia!

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    1. Now that's a good deal. We would also do it for that price.

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  2. Enjoyed the photos. Looks like a great place to see.

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    1. We are glad that you enjoyed them, we have lots more to show you. This is definitely an interesting area to visit and we are having a great time here. :-)

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  3. Awesome picture of Ruth with the town in the background. That landscape is so unique. Enjoy the trails.

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    1. Thank you! The scenery is amazing, sorta like the hoodoos back home in both Canada and the US but still very different. We can't wait to hit more of the trails here. This will definitely be a place that we will return to again one day.

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  4. I appreciate seeing places through your eyes that I'll likely never get to see in my lifetime. What a big beautiful world we need to preserve.

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    1. We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying our pictures and post, and that we can bring some of this beauty to you at home.

      We do indeed have an amazing world and you are right we need to preserve it for future generations. Unfortunately as a collective community we have our work cut out for us these days!

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  5. I am curious where you are picking up the ferry in Denmark?

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    1. Sorry if I missed that! Also, where are you arriving in Norway?

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    2. No, you didn't miss anything, Kevin had not mentioned the route. We will be leaving from Hirtshals, Denmark and arriving in Kristiansand, Norway. The ferry ride will be about 3 1/4 hours at a distance of 142 km (88 mi.).

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  6. What fascinating structures carved into the interesting geological formations. Love the idea of those dwellings. Though different in form, they do remind me of the cliff houses in the southwest US. Thanks for sharing all these interesting sites with us!

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    1. It is definitely a very different kind of landscape here, especially with all the carved out dwellings, shops, stables and churches in the rock formations. It makes you wonder what made the people back then think that this was something that they could do?! It is sort of like the cave dwelling back in the US southwest except that I believe they used naturally formed caves/cave openings and then constructed their dwellings from mud bricks, whereas these are just carved right into the rock formations themselves.

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  7. Replies
    1. It really is! There are so many little valleys here and they all have something different to offer, whether it be the rock formations or the colours of the rock. There is no way that we are going to be able to see everything we want to see on this visit, I think we are going to have to make a return visit in the future. :-)

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  8. You guys have a great mix of outdoor activities; hiking, climbing, archeological ruins, a few museums, and some good meals out. That's why we enjoy following the blog. Keep going. We're just about ready for take off!

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    1. We love to mix things up, life never gets boring that way. Luckily Turkiye has such a variety of things to offer. Between our two visits of three months each, we still have so much more to see. We are going to have to make another visit here in the future. It reminds us of Mexico with all it's variety of history, beautiful scenery, delicious food, an interesting culture and friendly people. :-)

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