The Land of the Fairy Chimneys

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It was dawn.  Our hot-air balloon drifted quietly over the landscape covered with rock formations eroded into cones, columns and fairy chimneys.

The volcano, Mt Erciyes, erupted 30 million years ago and covered about 116 square miles with lava.  But then the ash settled over the lava.  There was so much ash that when compacted over those millions of years it became a white volcanic rock that is known as tuff or tufa. It was over lain in places by hard black volcanic rock.  Over time as the land was eroded by wind and rain, these unusual formations were created.  

The white rock is hard on the outside but very soft on the inside.  So the peoples carved into the rock making homes for themselves.  They also carved their churches into the rock.  The Goreme  Open Air Museum has the largest number of rock-cut chapels.  Some even were decorated with exquisite frescoes.

We traveled to other sites where the formations look like animals and people or whatever your imagination can see.

The cones with the caps on them are called the fairy chimneys.
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