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Extraordinary Vagabond – Anniversary! Balloons and Fine Dining in Uchisar, Cappadocia

Cappadocia AnniversaryUsually on Saturdays, I like to either write about extraordinary vagabonds of the past or interview extraordinary vagabonds of the present – but this Saturday, I’m going to indulge myself in a bit of personal writing.

Two years ago, my wife and I were officially married.  Our wedding ceremony was a Sahara Nomad wedding and our honeymooon was a trip to Turkey that took us to Istanbul, Bursa, Manisa, Ephesus, Fetiye, Cappadocia and then back to Istanbul. It was an extraordinary wedding and an extraordinary honeymoon.

Now, we are back in Cappadocia and have just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.  Everyone who hears about how we celebrated our day keeps telling me “What are you going to do to top that for your fifth?” and I keep thinking “Uh oh, maybe I should have taken her to an ice cream and a movie.”  The truth is, this is going to be difficult to top.

Fairy Chimney in CappadociaFirst of all, we’re staying in a rocky palace at Taskonaklar in the small town of Uchisar. Our morning view looks out over the stunning moonlike landscape and our room is plush and astounding. Incredible luxury carved from the surrounding rocks.  Our first day here,  we had a very enjoyable tour with Yama Tours which gave us a 10 hour overview the region and then a delicious meal from the  house chef here at Taskonaklar before falling into bed at about 10 PM. One of the wonderful things about being at Taskonaklar is that it is serene, we don’t see or hear traffic or city noise so 10 PM actually feels quite late – and a good thing it was…

Cappadocia BalloonsFor our anniversary, we woke up at 4:45 am and a driver was waiting at the door. He drove us to Urgup Balloons where we had a coffee and pastries before climbing into one of their brightly colored hot air balloons and sailing up, up and away in our beautiful balloon.  We wound through the fairy chimney valleys and went as high as 850 meters before coming down for a perfect landing and drinking champagne toasts (okay, Hanane had juice but I enjoyed the champagne).

Cappadocia TurkeyAfter returning to our hotel we enjoyed the deluxe breakfast and then we climbed to the top of Uchisar Castle and had an afternoon snack of figs, nuts and fruit while looking out at the surreal landscape.  Coming down we strolled through Uchisar, window shopped and visited with an artist friend we met on the bus here who has a gallery in town.

Back to the hotel and we got ready for our anniversary dinner at Elai, which is certainly the best restaurant in Uchisar and probably in Cappadocia though I should point out that we haven’t been to all of them.  We had the opportunity to meet with Ozge and Kubilay, the owners of the restaurant which was very nice. Cappadocia AnniversaryThey are an Istanbulu couple who have been in Cappadocia for a while now so perhaps I should call them Cappadocian.  Elai was wonderful, an oasis of style and modernity with sophisticated food,  great wine,  and wonderful service.  I recommend the Spinach and Apple Salad with hot dressing – it was a delight for the palette. As was everything else we ordered – actually.

Finally, a moonlight walk home down quiet cobblestone streets and the only sound breaking the stillness of the night was the sound of our baby in the backpack on my back screaming “Da da da da da da da daddy da. Bad Daddy!” into the peaceful night.

Having our 8 month old daughter with us makes this 2nd anniversary that much more special – except for when we exchange romantic looks over dinner and the baby says “pthhhhhh” – but then, what could be a more perfect expression of our relationship than that!

So, in answer to all of those who ask what our future anniversaries will be like – I just say “Wait and see…”

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Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook