“Excuse me, what is that building over there?”

With that question I initiated the most significant memory of our recent trip to Germany.

Sitting at a park in Munich with a 74-year-old lonely widower, we connected. As my kids splashed in the bubbling fountain we participated in the most basic and yet most rewarding experience that humans can know: we shared our lives through words.

Capturing the heart of capp 1st post image

His wife had died 30 years ago. They were not able to have kids. He had not re-marrried. He spent his days coming into the city, watching time go by. Our paths crossed and neither of us will soon forget it.

My wife and I hung on every word of his broken English. His Jewish mother had suffered in Dachau. His Gentile father, a German soldier, had unsuccessfully tried to secure her release. The American soldiers had arrived just in time.

I shared that I was born in Munich and this was the first time we were bringing our kids to see it. He was living in Munich when I was born and knew where the hospital was located.

And so our conversation went as people in business suits sat around eating their sack lunches.


So, why am I telling you this in a blog about Cappadocia?

Because similar experiences are my hope for every visitor to Cappadocia and the purpose of this website. If you come to this area and ride in a hot-air balloon and see the sites, you will have a good time and have some pictures to show.

But if you also connect with a Cappadocian on a heart level, then you will have a new friend (much better than photos) and potentially your life will be changed. When people from different cultures, different nations bond, the world changes.

The Cappadocians who sell ice cream, wait tables, transport hot air balloons, run hotels, take tickets, and drive buses are people with families and histories. They have good days and bad days. They have hopes and dreams. Many tourists see them as automatons set in place to fulfill requests. (I know this because I am describing myself!) Most locals only speak Turkish, making it very difficult for any real connection to occur. I started CaptivatingCappadocia.com to remedy this.

I want to introduce you to the precious people who call this region home.

If you have questions, write me. I will do my best to answer them. If you have needs, spell them out. I will do what I can. If you know someone I can highlight, send me their contact information.


In addition, I plan to post book reviews for books related to Cappadocia as well as Turkey in general. And I expect to write about certain experiences that are less known by tourists (these may not focus on specific people).

I plan to post 2 – 4 times per week. However, you do not have to visit the site. You can subscribe and receive the posts in your e-mail inbox or read them in your favorite reader.

I am excited to begin this journey. Relationships and community make life rich. Let’s be as wealthy as we can.

Duke Dillardmoved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, and they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.

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