Room For Your Camels

After three amazing days, we headed back on the road, leaving an otherworldly and windswept Cappadocia and our dreams of surveying its wonders from the sky in a hot air balloon. Our drive towards Pamunkale, to see its famous white travertine terraced pools, would take almost 8 hours, so it was time to go. But before leaving Cappadocia we had one more stop to make. A hotel.


This was no ordinary hotel. And we didn’t plan to stay in it.


This was a Caravanserai from 1249, which is basically an ancient Courtyard Marriott, pet-friendly—your camels are welcome.  It sits on one of the routes along the Silk Road.  Along this silk strand, these strongholds were the pearls of safety connecting commerce from east to west and back again. Here, merchants and their weary camel trains could rest for three days sheltered securely within its walls.  for their shipment of wares, a place for their camels to be fed and rested, their horses to perhaps be re-shoed, and even a bathhouse and mosque.


Caravanserais in the Cappadocian region were at the crossroads to the world, here at this geographic intersection, merchants had routes both east to west and north to south along the Silk Road.


Wandering through its stronghold suspended time for a moment as we began imagining it full of camels and traders, and full of goods from all corners the ancient world—it dazzled our imaginations in a way we didn’t expect. The Saruhan Caravanserai that we visited had been restored in 1991 and though it is a mix of ancient and repaired, it gives you a glimpse of one of the last outposts along a centuries old crossroads to the world.

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