Cappadocia, central Turkey, has a fairy land, a whole lot similar to what we read in classic tales. This fairy land is so breathtaking and yet so realistic that I did pinch myself a few times to make sure, I am in it and a part of it!
The terrain in Cappadocia is very unique, a place where nature and history have created one of the most spectacular panorama of the world. Due to volcanic eruptions in the region a large tableland of tufa rock was formed. Together with the erosion from the Kizilirmak river and wind over ten thousands of years there appeared the chimney rocks or the fairy chimneys. These chimneys were marked by signs of thousand-years-old civilizations by carving houses and churches within these earth pillars and decorating them with frescoes.
The first time we actually saw them was on a dark dawn of a Tuesday morning. A bunch of us were all geared up in a hot air balloon for a tour in to the clouds overlooking these beautiful rock formations. We had no idea about its exquisiteness until we floated in to the sky, the sun rose, and we witnessed the vast landscape!
The pilot of hot air balloon said that the traditional Cappadocian houses, churches, monasteries, mosques and dovecotes were carved into the stone. The soft quarried rock, which is the only construction material of the region, was easily processed and would harden after contact with air resulting in to this natural fairy land.
While flying high and also ducking low in to the crevices of these rocks, we noticed a large number of dovecotes. We were told that these pigeon is a symbol of peace and devotion to family in Islam whereas regarded as a symbol of the “Holy Spirit” in Christianity. The reason behind hollowing out dove-cotes was not to catch and eat pigeons but to use their excrement as fertilizer. Some dovecotes are decorated with rich inscriptions and adornments by regional artists.
We sailed on in the air for about an hour and a half. It seemed like a dream or something much beyond that because I don’t remember ever visiting a wonderland in my dream as well. It was so awe-inspiring and so colourful to be true that the biting cold didn’t bother us even one bit. We just went up to 800 metres, almost felt like I would touch the rising sun and then ducked as low as a few feet from the earth to see if I could peep into the window of the chimney!
Land of the fairy chimneys, unforgettable, unbelievable and so vivid, tops high on my list. Its a place to experience what a true fairyland might be!