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

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

Monday, April 4, 2022

The ghost town of Karain, and arrived in Cappadocia

We had stayed overnight at the parking lot of the ski resort, but we didn't sleep well. It was really windy, and so we got up at 6:30am and started driving right away. By the time we got down to lower elevations, it wasn't windy at all!

We stopped for breakfast at a pretty little roadside park with a pond and picnic sites. The Turkish people love their picnics!

It was another beautiful day, with a forecast high of 23C (73F). Perfect!

Looking back at Mt. Erciyes.

Parked for breakfast.

Now there is no wind at all!

It sure is impressive.

Hard to believe we were skiing up there!

No idea what they are trying to grow here.

We were heading for the big popular tourist mecca of Cappadocia. 

Cappadocia is actually the name of a region consisting of the towns of Goreme, Urgup, Ortahisar Belediyesi, and Uçhisar.

We took a secondary back road route, and about 25 kms (15 miles) before Goreme we began seeing what appeared to be abandoned villages like this...

The village of Akkoy.

We turned off towards the next village of Karain just to have a closer look. There are many abandoned cave homes carved out of the sandstone. There was really nobody around. We literally only saw one person, a shepherd with some goats.

Exploring the ghost town of Karain.







Me, exploring.





We couldn't figure out why there was absolutely nobody around when we were this close to the tourist places. I guess most tourists don't go out exploring!




Max, parked in the ghost town of Karain.


I did some research after the fact, and there is very little information available online regarding Karain.

One thing I did find is that there are three villages in the area... Tuzkoy, Karain, and Sarahidir...whose inhabitants suffered from a rare form of cancer at a rate 600 time higher than elsewhere in Turkiye. It was discovered in the 1970's, and led to the abandoment of these towns.

Here is an interesting BBC article... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-11711136

Approaching Goreme.

We drove by the open air museum.

And we temporarily parked right in the center of Goreme.

There are a lot of free overnight spots in this area, but the wind had picked up again and Goreme is a very dusty little town made worse by the fact that there is major infrastructure repairs going on.

We went for a walk trying to find an overnight spot that might be sheltered a bit from the wind.

It's definitely an interesting landscape.

And we're looking forward to doing some hikes in the area.

Ruth, and the scenery around Goreme, Cappadocia.

Looking down on Goreme.

But of course there is a downside to how popular the area has become over the past 20 years. Prices for most things are ridiculous by Turkish standards, which is one of the reasons we avoided the area when we had the car rental in 2020. Accommodation is pricey. By having Max, we pay nothing for accommodation.

The area has been taken over by ATV rentals. They are everywhere. Fortunately, the March through June time frame is the best time to be here... it is low season and most of the ATV's sit parked.


But the scenery is definitely interesting which is what makes the area attractive to begin with. I have an open mind, but with low expectations so that I'm not disappointed. Many tourist hotspots are over rated. We will spend a few days here exploring and we've read that if you get out hiking and away from the tourists, you'll likely be the only ones around. So hopefully that's the case.

Cappadocia has become very well known as the hot air balloon capital of the world. And we'll look into doing a balloon ride, but again, they are so overpriced due to the popularity that we will only do it if we get a deal. I've checked the prices online, and many seem like a tourist rip off. It's slow season though, so you never know.

Max found a great overnight spot!
GPS 38.646165, 34.823508

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Nice price drop on Apple Airpods 2nd Generation.

And in Canada...

6 comments:

  1. Great scenery, reminds me a little bit of the hoodoos around milk river and writing on stone provincial park in Alberta. That area suffered a bit from "tourists" as well. Mostly protected now thankfully. Thanks for sharing great adventures.

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    1. Yes, it is a little like that kind of scenery but so much more of it and that people used to carve out homes, shops and churches in the rock formations. The history of this place goes back to the 3rd century BC and is very interesting. It has a beautiful landscape but unfortunately there are definitely too many tourists here. Luckily not at the moment but during a normal year and in the summer the place would be packed and ATV's zipping around everywhere. We wish it was a little more protected here, in that aspect.

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  2. Malignant mesothelioma due to the mineral erionite says Mr. Google. A mineral much like asbestos. Poor people! I'm so enjoying your travels. Kathy

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    1. Yes, that is what Kevin had read too about the mineral in the area. It must have been difficult for them to make the decision to move on and start a new life elsewhere but it is better for them health wise.

      We are glad that you are enjoying our travels and adventures. :-)

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  3. Nice photos of valley during your drive. Those abandon cities look like they once were beautiful villages....they still are beautiful in a weird way. Yep, cities and towns make money off tourism...for some it's that type of activity that keeps them thriving. I don't mind paying a high price once in while if that's the case.

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    1. Yes, I am sure they were beautiful and thriving little towns and villages in the area, they certainly had a beautiful landscape to live in. There is definitely tourism that caters to abandoned buildings and towns so we were surprised to find no one around and hardly any kind of information about these towns/villages.

      We understand that tourism is the biggest industry here in the Cappadocia region and we don't mind paying a fair price to see or do things but we also don't like to be taken advantage of and with the way the pricing is here, that is exactly what is being done and if people want to pay it then all the power to them but we won't be unless we think the price is fair.

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