Saturday, January 03, 2015

Göreme, Cappadocia: Fairy Chimneys and Trees with Eyes

Hello everyone!  Happy 2015.  Let's see if I can produce more than four posts this year.

Today's Turkey Tale is about Cappadocia, which is a region in Turkey that sounds like something Starbucks might have on their Christmas menu* but is actually Hot Air Balloon Central, and Fairy Chimney Central.  Wikipedia says Cappadocia is 'moon-like', presumably because of all the balloons.  Wikipedia does not go to the moon often.

*it is a cappuccino with chocolate hail on top and it plays Silent Night when you drink it

Fairy Chimneys are rock formations!  Their proper geological name, given that 'Fairy Chimneys' is somewhat fanciful, is 'Hoodoos'.   They are also referred to as 'Goblins' and 'Tent Rocks' because apparently when these were first discovered all of the geologists were slightly drunk.

Göreme, the town we stayed in, is so hoodoofull that they're incorporated into the town itself:  

Photographer too impatient to wait for man to move his car.

And between the hoodoos and the ever-present balloons it makes for a really weird skyline.

Pictured: Not the Moon.

The picture below is completely unscenic but is one of my favourites because of the story behind it; on our first day in Göreme, Mum and I were walking down to the centre of town when this door opened and a ridiculously old Turkish woman came out and beckoned at us.  

"Come," she said, "come come come!"  

come come come come come

So Mum and I were ushered through the blue door into the woman's house, where she promptly disappeared and then returned with cups of tea and a bowl of raisins she'd dried herself.  She spoke hardly any English.  Mum whispered that she wasn't sure about eating the raisins but I didn't want to be rude and in the pursuit of politeness ate far too many raisins and later felt slightly ill.  

While we were debating the merits of the raisins the woman disappeared again and reappeared with a small box of handmade jewellery that looked more or less like this -

image from:

- and it was at this point that she smiled triumphantly and started tying jewellery on us and saying, "Nice, yes? Nice!" until Mum and I had bought a sufficient amount of jewellery, at which point we were promptly ushered back out to the street and the blue door closed behind us.  Well played, Turkish lady. Well played.

The next day we went to a town near Göreme that I have completely forgotten the name of, but which had a) many fairy chimneys and b) many onyx factories.   We climbed up a hill in the midday sun, which was about as much fun as you imagine, except that you are also carrying several kilograms of unnecessary onyx tat. 

It was scenic though.

Notice how the one on the left looks like a roaring face.

Some of the chimneys here had been converted into houses, and for about half an hour my new life goal was "move to Cappadocia and live in fairy chimney and become ridiculously old Turkish woman" until I was distracted by something else and also realised that probably it's hard to get a good Internet connection inside of a fairy chimney. 

"help officer I have locked myself out of my fairy chimney"  "again?"  "yes"

We walked back to Göreme, which I have to copy+paste each time I say it so that it has the little dots over the O, through the White Valley and the Love Valley.  

The Love Valley is called that because all of the fairy chimneys in it are in a particular shape:

Dicks.  They are in the shape of dicks.

We also walked down the White Valley, which is white and which I did not take any interesting photos of, and it was here that I saw the turkey in Turkey, which I know you've all been waiting for.

The turkey² was at a cafe in the valley - the only cafe in the valley, from memory.  You walk for 30 minutes through the valley, with absolutely nothing manmade in sight, and then bam! Cafe.  Complete with tables in the river, because tables in the river.  

Islands in the stream. That is what they are.

Other tourists had got there first and we didn't get to sit on the tables in the river, but that was ok because:


p.s. - I just remembered I forgot to add the trees with eyes.  They will have to be a story for another time.

All images © 2014 Ally Mullord unless otherwise stated. 


chris rees said...

Hot dawg, you have blawged. Great bit about the old jewellery lady, sometimes you realise later that you actually paid for a cool story, primarily.

IT IS ALLY said...

Exactly! I hope I'm that canny when I'm old, enticing tourists with raisins.