Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Walk through Pigeon Valley

Have you ever been somewhere that was a complete surprise to you?

I'm experiencing that day after day here in Turkey!

We arrived last night into the region of Kapadokya, also known in English as Cappadocia, and set off this morning for Uçhisar, a small town in the region; we stopped here to get our first glimpse of the unusual landscape of this region.

Cappadocia is a region known for its exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.

Fairy chimneys, also know as hoodoos, range in size from the height of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building!

Their shapes are affected by erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause these chimneys to have different colors throughout their height.

We were dropped off in Uçhisar, and began to walk through this exceptionally quaint little town.

Homes and hotels are literally built into the rocks here, and we visited this hotel, Kale Konak, because our guide is friends with the owner!

It proved to be a perfect picture taking spot with my friends, Manjola and Polly; and with Dave too!

When the itinerary said we'd take a walk today, I had no idea how beautiful that walk would turn out to be, with literally a picture-worthy moment happening every few steps.

These fairy chimneys are found in other places in the world, but these are noteworthy because of how they've been used for dwellings, both for people and animals, through the years!

People have literally carved out the insides of them to house themselves and their animals.

While the rest of the group continued on down the hill, Dave couldn't resist going inside one of these fantastic formations!

The view from the window was so amazing!

We caught back up with the group just as they were passing by this gorgeous view up to the town and castle of Uçhisar.

We commented on how lush the foliage, plants and trees seemed, having no idea how true that would prove to be as we continued on our walk!

Have you ever seen a mulberry tree? I haven't! But these girls (in red shirts above) were shaking the tree down onto a cloth and they let us sample the fruit!

But that wasn't all the fruit along the way of this walk through "Pigeon Valley"!

There were cherries and apricots...

And grapes that will be ready later!

There were gorgeous flowers too in this valley that is named for the many pigeon houses carved into the rocks and cliffs.

It was hard to contain my giddiness for being in such an unspoiled and lovely place as we walked slowly from Uçhisar to Göreme.

The temperature was perfect, the light so beautiful, and the views absolutely breathtaking everywhere you looked.

Places have been cut through the rock so that you can easily make this walk.

Though I will say there are a few steep spots, and you definitely want to be wearing good shoes! But for the most part, it was just a gorgeous morning walk in a fantastically beautiful area that I never knew existed.

We popped out near the town of Göreme where again, you had a clear view of those whimsical fairy chimneys.

There are a number of hotels in this town too that are set into the rock. I bet it's really quiet at night here!

I'm already dreaming about doing that walk again sometime; that was so special!

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