I’ve been in Istanbul for two full days now, but the rocks of Cappadocia stay with me. Marina and Jaques, the couple that I met from Belgium, told me that they’ve been back more times than they can count. This is no ordinary place, but also these are no ordinary people. Marina and Jaques showed me the area as only a “local” could. When we encountered a steep rock, and there was a newly installed ladder, they complained that the new tool ruined the fun of climbing. Despite the fact that Jacques was old enough to retire from his job, he deftly climbed the toughest rocks and lent me a hand over the biggest ones. When I scraped my elbow, Marina said, “Yes, we always return from our trips with scraped elbows. And we say that we had a great trip.”
I keep thinking about this — that sometimes you need to get a little scraped up in order to have the best experiences. I never would have met Marina and Jacques if I hadn’t ventured off into the wilderness on my own, even though it was a little scary and lonely. Not only did I end up with wonderful hiking partners, but they then showed me back to town to meet their local guide, Hassan, and his family. I made them some balloon animals and hats, and they insisted that I have tea at their home. I’ve barely noticed the elbow scrape.
Here’s to Cappadocia — this little film is just a draft, because I could spend hours sorting through my footage — but I hope it gives you a sense of what a special place this is.