Our Brother Mehmet’s Masterpiece

While in Cappadocia, we decided to stay in Uchisar, since our niece Danielle suggested to us that it might be less touristy and crowded than the popular town of Göreme just next door. And she was spot on.


Cappadocia is not the name of a city, in fact you’ll have trouble finding it on a map. It’s a region of Türkiye with several different towns inside you can choose to stay in. 


There are two things on everyone’s Cappadocian bucket list: A hot air balloon ride and staying in a cave hotel. 


The balloon rides, we learned, can sometimes be a tricky feat to accomplish. The winds had cancelled flights for the last eleven days and it wasn’t looking promising. 


But sleeping in a cave hotel was an easier task. There are a bazillion to pick from and many are newly built hotels recessed into the mountains like a daylight basement and designed with posh cave-like architecture. These caves with their heated floors and wi-fi, are the highly evolved child of the primitive ancient caves. 


This is where we met Mehmet. He grew up on the very spot where the Kistar Cave Hotel now stands. Here, for some forty years, he lived in a small home that overlooked the vast network of centuries old caves. 


He didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak much Turkish (only “Teşekkür ederim”—which seriously, try and pronounce that…) but Mehmet and I discovered we could both speak a little French. He took to calling me “ma sœur”—my sister, and so I would call him “mon frère,” since his name Mehmet is as common in Türkiye as the name John is back in the states.


His family has been here in Cappadocia for at least 500 years—that’s as far as my number understanding goes in French so its very likely they go way father back than my ability to add up and then translate “cinq cents.”


His ‘Kistar Cave Hotel’ is his passion project. Its foundation rises from his old family home. And every flourished detail is a masterpiece, including the breakfast spread that was laid out each morning that looked ready for a cover shoot for Bon Appetit


Mehmet is the nicest man. Each night when we’d ask for a dinner recommendation, he would offer to walk us through town and show us a place that was good to eat. 


Mehmet told us that the best life is a happy life. The four of us couldn’t agree more—cozied up here at Mehmet’s place and eating that breakfast each morning IS the best. 


Nous sommes très heureux. 

Mark catching up on the Turkish news.

These amazing ladies put out this amazing breakfast spread each morning, all from scratch. There was so much to eat you couldn’t taste it all. But of course we did anyway.

As we left, we decided to fix Kistar Hotel’s rating. A 9,9 seems way too low. So we borrowed a piece of paper and pen from Mehmet and set things right.


Marcel wasn’t happy with our perfect 10 rating, so he re-borrowed Mehmet’s pen and made the necessary adjustments.

"The best life is a happy life."


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *