Turkey

"Fairy Chimneys" at Goreme and Zelve

Several million years ago, many big explosive volcanic eruptions buried the area of Cappadocia under thick layers of hot ash, forming so-called ignimbrite. Later on, rain and wind shaped the landscape into fantastic scenery almost to an extent making it hard to believe it is natural. An additional page on "chimney formation" further illustrates the processes involved. Previously the volcano Erciyes Dagi was considered the source of the ash; today scientists believe it is more probable that it originated at Hasan Dagi. However, both volcanoes are quite far from the deposits.


Cavus'In: single "hats" of hard, dark material protect yellowish columns: note the continuous layer of hard ash at right.

This isolated column at Zelve's Valley entrance seems to open its own umbrella as a protection against an approaching thunderstorm.

The strange regularity of this group of "Fairy Chimneys" seems incompatible with a natural process of erosion.

In the Peribacalari Vadisi near Goreme when the almond trees are dressed in Autumn colours.

The Peribacalari Vadisi near Goreme on a spring early morning.

The small tourist at left, in the shade, gives the chimneys' incredible scale.

Cool early morning temperatures help these hot air balloons to rise in air.

Sailing in hot air balloons over this landscape seems a very exclusive attraction.

Spring in the Peribacalari Vadisi near Zelve.

Blooming almond trees and "Fairy Chimneys".

Shepherd near Zelve; the sheep eat vine leaves!

Sometimes the hard rock seems to violate the law of gravity!