The fantasy land of fairy chimneys and churches cut out of soft rock formations rising up in cone-like protuberances amidst a barren, otherworldly background of remote and awful natural beauty — this is the Valley of Coppadocla. This region was a Roman province and was the refuge of persecuted Christians during the early days of the Roman Empire. Today It includes the Anatolian towns of Ürgüp, Nevşehir, Avanos and the Göreme valley. This spectacular region of Central Anatolia can be reached by bus from Ankara in four hours. Using Ankara as a base is convenient for a day tour of the area, but adequate hotel arid camping facilities are found in the larger towns, making a longer stay pleasant.
In Turkish folklore we find on explanation of the weird troglodyte formations that extend as high as a hundred feet into the clear Anatolian sky. It Is told that an army from a neighboring state had come to attack the unarmed inhabitants of Cappadocia. These humble people in their moment of judgement offered up prayers,to Allah, and the invaders were turned to stone, Scientifically the formations are the results of erosion. The softer outer stone had been cut away by the processes of wind, rivulets and rain over a period of centuries, leaving the harder core of the rocks standing in an amazing variety of mysterious shapes, The effect is something like a village out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Apart from the natural beauty of the region, Cappadocia is well-known for its rock churches that date to the period of Christian persecution and for its underground cities, amazingly intricate systems of tunnels cut into the mountains of rock.