Tuesday 9 July 2019

Cappadocia A Rocky Wonderland

Historically rich, culturally unique and geologically stunning, Cappadocia is by far my favourite destination in Turkey. The landscape in Cappadocia is not one where you easily get to see in other parts of the world. The peculiar sights of bizarre rocks sticking out of the earth and multi storey cave dwellings dug and carved out of huge rock hills are indeed mind boggling. What's more fascinating is the fact that these eye popping spectacles are not confined to a small area but can be found in multifarious forms all over the vast region of Cappadocia. The topography looks surreal. It is as if you are in an outer planet or a wonderland of rocks. Being there to look at them at close range is even more exhilarating.

We spent a whole day visiting Cappadocia's valleys to goggle at the beautiful rocks and cave dwellings that have existed since times of old. Our visits covered Pasabag Valley, Uchisar Valley, Pigeon Valley, Devrent Valley and Goreme Valley. We also spent a lot of time in Goreme Open Air Museum. Due to time constraint however, there are other interesting places like Red Valley and Love Valley which we just had to cruise through.
Pasabag Valley aka Monks Valley has a very impressive collection of mushroom-shaped rocks many of which were turned into dwelling places in the past. The early monks sought refuge in homes created from these rocks by hollowing out the soft volcanic tuff inside the rock pillars hence the name 'Monk Valley'. Today there are no longer any residents living here. 

Devrent Valley aka Imaginary Valley is most famed for its gigantic Camel Rock. This rock is not carved by human but is formed naturally over the years by the process of erosion.
Besides the camel-shaped rock there are rocks of other shapes in this valley. Some look like mushrooms, some like women's nipples, etc. It's up to the lookers to imagine what they look like. Devrent Valley was never inhabited from the start and other than the Camel Rock it is also known for its lunar landscape, meaning it has a landscape that looks like the surface of the moon. 

Another mind blowing panorama is seen at Pigeon Valley aka Dove Valley. There are many cave dwellings in Pigeon Valley which are no longer inhabited by men. These dwellings are now used to attract the pigeons as collecting pigeon droppings for fertilizer is a lucrative business.

We cruised through Love Valley without stopping. This zone is known for its 'erotic' phallic shaped rocks some reaching heights of 40 meters.
Another 'must-visit' place in Cappadocia is Uchisar Valley. Dominating the skyline here is Uchisar Castle, a natural rock castle which at 60 meters tall is the highest point in Cappadocia. Uchisar Castle is a multi storey cave dwelling, once home to 1000 people. No longer stayed in, it is now opened to the public as an exhibit. Uchisar Valley which features rock pillars and cave houses is an ancient settlement that is still lived in today. 

Some of the cave houses have been vacated by men and today taken over by pigeons.

When we arrived at Goreme Valley, the weather turned gloomy. It was snowing and very misty so we didn't have a clear view of all beautiful rock formation and cave dwellings here.

From a distance, while the bus was cruising along we saw a few other interesting places with amazing rock formation.

Very beautiful and enchanting indeed. I was mesmerized over and over. That's why I love Cappadocia.💗💖💗💗💗

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