The history of Cappadocia in three minutes. (April 2012)

Cappadocia is famous for the Paşabağ and Ugup Fairy Chimneys, Uçhisar Castle, Göreme Open Air Museum, the Derinkuyu underground city, as well as Pigeon Valley, to name a few.

The water and wind erosion that created the Fairy Chimneys out of compressed volcanic ash called tuffs, has also been the cause of their destruction.

The houses carved out of this soft rock in Pigeon Valley, have become so prone to collapse that people are no longer allowed to live there. Many of the entrances have been blocked and replaced with pigeon holes.

Then there’s the balloon rides over all these amazing rock formations. During the height of the tourist season as many as 100 balloons can be seen over the area at dawn.

We arrived in Göreme on the Friday of a long weekend, and so did everyone else.

Tour coaches lined the road outside every major attraction and there were long queues at every entrance.

Apart from the geography, Cappadocia has a rich history of Hittite an then Christian cultures.

Christianity came to this part of Turkey first. The faithful, fearing persecution from the Romans, were forced to build their churches and monasteries underground or in caves built into the soft volcanic rock.

For two days our guide, Ilkay, showed us these early Christian hiding places, plus some Hittite ones as well, and told us their history.

Because of the hordes of tourists we were only permitted three minutes in each of the most popular sites.

So that way we learnt all about Cappadocian history in three minute grabs.

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