It was an early morning start to tour the Capadoccia area in Central Anatolia. We were amazed to see our first fairy chimneys or conical rocky outcrops dotting the landscape, that were created by erosion of the original volcanoes. Some of these chimneys reach a height of forty metres. The photographs capture just how beautiful they are.
The southern end of the valley is honeycombed with tiny cells once occupied by monks. The site is vast and is like looking over a fairy wonderland. There are over thirty churches carved into the rock.
Our next stop was the underground city of Oz Konak that goes 40 meters below the ground. It too is carved out of the soft volcanic tuff that was easy to excavate in order to create dwellings. At first we could stand up in the small communal room then we crouched to go through a tunnel into other rooms. The one I liked best was the room where they made the wine. Grapes came through a chute in the ceiling into a spot where they were crushed. The juice was then collected and placed in giant amphorae that still stand in the room today.
We had a roadside stop before reaching our next destination, Avanos. These stops were excellent as far as snacking was concerned. We bought almonds or hazelnuts, apricots, raisins, dates and figs. It was really good to have a stash of healthy food. My favourite thing to have was the freshly squeezed beautiful, ruby coloured pomegranate juice. So delicious, although the juice could be quite tart depending on the pomegranates.
Finally, we returned to our hotel for a quick dinner before heading off to see the whirling dervishes.