Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cappadocia, Turkey: Another World

First off, apologies for getting so behind in my posts! I have more to come on our time in Austria, Czech Republic, Romania and our cruise ports, but right now I am in Goreme, Turkey in the Cappadocia region of the country. I have a little time and I am inspired.

Goreme is a small, touristy town like many others around the world. However, it's in the heart of Cappadocia, a unique place of fairy chimneys that have enchanted me and make me feel like I'm in a dream each day.

There's not a whole lot to do here other than visit, hike around or balloon over these fairy chimneys, but that's a good thing, especially when you've been traveling for four months and are excited for a break from big cities.

So what are these so called fairy chimneys? Well, according to these unusual rock formations are a results of volcanic eruptions during the third geological period. The deposits of volcanic ash, lava and basalt laid the groundwork for these rock formations, followed by years of erosion from wind and rain, forming unique shapes that give the landscape an appearance that resembles what many people might think the surface of the moon would be like.
One of the former dwellings at the Open Air Museum in Goreme

Some unique looking fairy chimneys in Pigeon Valley
An amazing view of the valley!
Many of these fairy chimneys were (and some still are) inhabited
During our hike in Pigeon Valley
Now Drew's into "jumping" photos too. Go figure. ;-)
Amazing shapes of the rocks formed by natural elements
So why did we journey here? It's actually been on my bucket list for several years, ever since I saw an article in Budget Travel that displayed an absolutely captivating photo of tens of hot air balloons floating in the sky over a landscape like nothing I'd ever seen. Ever since, this place has been on my mind and my bucket list, and so I am very happy that it worked out for us to visit this magical place during this incredible journey we are on.

I am happy to report that today we took that sunrise hot air balloon ride and it surpassed every one of my dreams of the occasion, despite just how touristy of an activity it is here. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that just yesterday, the region saw its second balloon accident since these flights began twenty years ago. Unfortunately three people lost their lives and many were injured, so my thoughts and prayers are with those people and their families.

Despite that awful accident, I would highly recommend the activity and this amazing place to everyone. It's like nowhere I've ever been.

Getting ready for our first hot air balloon flight!
A balloon rising behind a fairy chimney
Close to 100 balloons take flight each morning

We went as high at 950 meters, 1000 is the limit here
The small city below
An interesting perspective of the canyon below

1 comment:

  1. Especially love the last photo - can see that on your wall at home!!