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Cappadocia, Turkey

Notes from the road

I spent a good chunk of time in Cappadocia being furious.

It had been five years since my last visit and the difference in trips can be summarised in one word: Instagram. I’m all for social media, but when it’s used for peacocking in place of sharing genuine experiences it gets ugly, fast.

By ugly I mean self-proclaimed models with full hair and make-up shivering in bath robes at dawn, ready to strip off the moment a swarm of hot air balloons are visible on the horizon. By ugly I mean the fifth-generation carpet shop that now charges as a photography studio, because people started posing in front of rugs instead of buying them. By ugly I mean influencers with millions of followers crashing drones into the Unesco-protected fairy chimneys and laughing through shisha smoke while locals retrieve their gear using cherry pickers.

But there is still so much beauty, too. Shooting stars traversing blue-black skies. Byzantine chapels carved into rocks. Mountain biking and hiking through valleys studded with fairy chimney. The ceremony of breaking open a pottery kebab. Being welcomed into someone’s home for a cooking class. And of course, seeing that otherworldly landscape from a hot air balloon, weather permitting.

If people continue to care more about social media engagement than actual engagement – with history, geology and culture – the magic of Cappadocia will be lost. The region relies heavily on tourism, but when you visit, do so with respect and curiosity.

THE ULTIMATE FOOD CRAWL IF YOU ONLY HAVE 24 HOURS
THE ULTIMATE FOOD CRAWL IF YOU ONLY HAVE 24 HOURS

Hallucinogenic butter recipe FREE when you subscribe.

Hallucinogenic butter recipe FREE when you subscribe.

SOCIALICON
SOCIALICON
SOCIALICON