Floating over the fairy chimneys, honeycombed hills, and underground villages of Cappadocia, Turkey, it’s easy to believe you’re about to spot a hobbit, pixie or other fanciful creature scurrying between rock and cave. This landscape straight out of Grimms’ Fairy Tales really lends itself to flights of fancy (and hot air balloon flights), but, as is so often the case, the truth of this region is far more fascinating than fiction.
Three to four million years ago a series of volcanic eruptions shook the stark Anatolian plains in central Turkey. Thick volcanic ash solidified into a soft porous rock called tuff which, over time, was eroded by wind and water. The end result? The geological oddity and chimerical topography that is known as Cappadocia.
Thanks to the soft stone left behind so many millions of years ago, people have long used the region as an escape, carving hiding places