One of my inspirations for travel is the chance of finding yet another place on this great planet that will blow my mind. In a good way, of course. And it really isn’t all that hard to find these places. Some are man-made, and Ray Bradbury might take issue with it, but I don’t. I think his quote is more about finding those fantastical places and things that are real and not crafted for a movie set, or composited in a Photoshop masterpiece.
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“See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” ~ Ray Bradbury
There are lists of such places that can, and should, be visited by everyone.
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- The Grand Canyon, USA
- Petra, Jordan
- The Great Barrier Reef, Australia (underwater of course)
- Meteora, Greece
- Joshua Tree, USA (especially in spring)
- The Blue Eye, Albania
- The Great Pyramids, Egypt
- Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
- Gobi Desert, Mongolia
The list could go on and on, and everyone has their favorites. For me, Cappadocia is the top of the list for truly feeling otherworldly.
Cappadocia – A Fantasy Setting
When I first drove to Cappadocia, in central Turkey, I was expecting to enter a fantasy world of sorts but I didn’t really know what I’d find. Certainly, many of the gaudy and ugly roadside constructions advertising this hotel or that tourist attraction weighed heavily on my expectations. These are some of the ugliest poured concrete monstrosities you can imagine; all stylized to resemble the fairy chimneys and cave churches. They fail miserably, thankfully.
As you enter the region from the south you drive through Uchisar and get a chance to be up close and personal with these crazy geological structures. These unique formations are the result of a series of prehistoric volcanic eruptions that covered the area and filled in the existing valleys and gulleys with ash and other mineral deposits. This eventually turned into a soft porous rock known as tuff and it is this material that has eroded, leaving behind the unimaginable towers, ripples, and ribbons of rock we see today.
I can spend days in Cappadocia, exploring Goreme, trekking through the Rose Valley, climbing in and through the sprawling underground cities that have been carved deep underground, or just sitting and watching the sunset over one of the most fantastical places on earth.
What is the most fantastic place you’ve been?
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