Cappadocia: Fairy Chimneys & Other Photogenic Rocks

If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen at least one or two photos of the spectacular backdrop behind myriad hot-air balloons at sunrise – most often in a particular, desert-like area in Turkey. In case you need a refresher, or if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s the magnificence I’m referring to. This is Cappadocia.



Kapadokya, as it’s locally known, isn’t actually a city. It’s a region that encompasses four provinces in central Anatolia, the more recognizable half being Nevşehir and Kayseri (probably because they have airports and have developed a bit of a visitor-friendly environment). The stunning landscape we find in this craggy region is the effect of nature eroding rock over 30 million years – abundant amounts of rock formed from post-volcanic eruptions between three volcanoes. Take a closer look.



Living in a land so greatly impacted by –now extinct– volcanoes, it’s no wonder the locals build with stone: souvenirs (you’ll see what’s called green rock, which is soft ash that can be bought and carved), cave shelters, a castle, and entire cities carved from rock. Camouflaged in the landscape, for example, we find remnants of a religious haven in the Göreme mountainside and a castle in Uçisar.



Nature, not to be outshone by manmade wonders, has carved impressive attractions of its own. You may not necessarily remember Nick Cage visiting Turkey’s renowned fairy chimneys in Ghost Rider, but you can easily see why a location scout for Star Wars would favor this rocky terrain. What better backdrop for a sci-fi/fantasy setting than a place that has “fairy chimneys”?



The sweeping vista is dramatic and desolate and romantic all at once.



Let’s switch gears and add a little color to our lives. These aren’t rocks, but they’re just as photogenic.



May your upcoming week be filled with spectacular, picturesque sights,