Sunday, July 19, 2015

The weird, wacky and wonderful shapes of Cappadocia

When I first decided to visit Turkey I knew  a must to visit was Cappadocia.  This land of fairy chimneys and weird shapes lies in the middle of Turkey on the Anatolian plains.  To quote Wikipedia...(I would never create a sentence this long! :) ) : "The Cappadocian Region located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey, with its valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation created as a result of the eroding rains and winds of thousands of years of the level, lava-covered plain located between the volcanic mountains Erciyes, Melendiz and Hasan as well as its troglodyte dwellings carved out of the rock and cities dug out into underground, presents an otherworldly appearance. The eruptions of these mountains which were active volcanoes in geological times lasted until 2 million years ago. A soft tuff layer was formed, 150 m in thickness, by the issuing lavas in the valley surrounded by mountains. The rivers, flood water running down the hillsides of valleys and strong winds eroded the geological formations consisting of tuff on the plateau formed with tuff layers, thus creating bizarre shapes called fairy Chimneys. These take on the names of mushroom shaped, pinnacled, capped and conic shaped formations"  The area was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985.  People have lived in the area for over a thousand years now and you can still see holes dug in the soft rock where people made their homes.  There are still homes created out of the rock although a little more civilized than the ones you will see!! 

We based ourselves in the town of Goreme...a place I will do a blog post about later...for now this will be more or less a photo essay on a wonderful morning we spent exploring the area by a private van.  Originally we were supposed to go on a hike in one area but due to the threat of heavy rain our tour leader asked us if we would like to pool in and hire a van.  It was a resounding "YES" all around.  I am so happy it worked out as we got to see a whole lot  more than we would have done walking in one area.  (though if we had had a third day there that would have been a fun thing to do)  So come along with our happy band of seven and one (awesome) tour leader as we visit the crazy shapes of Cappadocia.

Walking down the path to the first view point

Fairy chimney pots

They probably didn't get wifi in those cave dwellings!
Ahem...this is called Love Valley

Former dwellngs - amazing!

Well they had to have shops of course....

Would have been fun to explore but wonky knees prevented that

Looking towards Goreme

Love Valley

Walking amongst the ahem..."structures"

You had to pay to have your picture taken with the camel...don't think so!

Such cool tunnels...and no I don't have a big hat - that's a fellow walking behind me. :) 

Windy and cold - so had to buy another woolen hat ..ah well, I will be able to wear a different hat every day for a week this winter!  We will call this the Tuesday hat!

So while it did rain a little bit the weather wasn't as bad as we had feared - however I am still so very happy we did the van tour instead of the walk.   If you do nothing else in Turkey this area is a must see...besides Istanbul of course!  If you want to see what this area looks like from the area click here for my blog post of our wonderful balloon trip!

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