Mesmerized in Cappadocia

The Cappadocia region of Turkey was pretty much the main reason I came back to this country. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed – for me it’s up there with some of the most spectacular landscapes I’ve ever seen. After an eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2,000 years ago, ash and lava formed soft rocks, covering an absolutely massive area. The resourceful locals realised they could carve the soft rock to create cave like dwellings and churches.

It took quite some culling to get down to my favourite photos as I managed to take nearly 300 over the 3 days. 


Looking out over Goreme; a town best placed to see Cappadocia. In the far distance Uchisar Castle can be seen.

Looking out onto Pigeon Valley. The caves were painted white to attract pigeons and  holes were carved to collect their valuable droppings. 

Uchisar Castle - walked to the top just in time for sunset.

Hitch-hiking is ridiculously easy in Turkey. Met a cool family on the way back from Uchisar who wanted to take my picture, providing I could have one with them of course.

Hot air balloon rides are the most popular way to see the valleys at sunrise. I was waiting for them at my favourite hill top hangout.

Did I mention hot air balloons are popular?!

The softer rock was eroded by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock of pillars forming these "fairy chimneys". I can't believe I didn't say penis in that sentence.

Looking out over Goreme, lucky enough to have a synchronised balloon display.

At the start of Love Valley. Still not sure why they call it that... hmm.

There an abundance of 10th century churches built in this area with some in very good condition.  Proof of Turkey's Christian past.

I bloody love sunsets.

Rocks carved into brilliant homes.

The Rose and Red valley - definitely my favourite walk.

There are no detailed maps of the area so you basically just walk until you are completely lost, then decide what to do. I followed a narrow path along the valley edge and found a cave for lunch.

A major highlight of the Rose Valley was stumbling across this amphitheatre of a church. It seemed absolutely massive when I walked in, I hope the video does it some justice.

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