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09/10

Once upon a time...

We’ve made it down to the surreal, Dali-esque region of Cappadocia in central Turkey. Whilst this involves a significant detour off the North Anatolian fault, we decided to come here because it provides yet another fascinating example of how earthquakes can shape people’s lives and profoundly effect the local geography.

Here the landscape is impossibly strange and beautiful. It was formed millions of years ago during the tertiary geological period when three volcanoes located on the edges of this region began erupting frequently. The deposits of volcanic ash, lava, and basalt laid the foundations for the landscape, and since then earthquakes and the ongoing effects of erosion all contributed to form the valleys and fairy chimneys that are so stunning today.

We took a balloon ride high above the fairy chimneys to get a better view – some of us enjoying it more than others.

We also visited the nearby deserted city of Cavusin, where discreet entrances give way to elaborate subterranean systems with air shafts, waste shafts, wells, chimneys and connecting passageways. The upper levels were used for living quarters while the lower levels were used for storage, wine making, flour grinding and worship in simple chapels. Everywhere, walls have been blackened from the use of torches.

It was inhabited right up until the late 1960s, when natural erosion and an earthquake contributed to the dwellings becoming too unsafe to live in, prompting the authorities to evacuate the settlement in 1963 and establish a new village several hundred metres away.

2 Responses to “Once upon a time…”

helen ratcliff on 27/10/2010 at 5:54 pm said :

Really like the balloons….. lovely image…. looks blissful….

Colin on 30/10/2010 at 12:35 pm said :

Some beautiful and bizzare looking landscape pictures :)

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