Photographer's Note

Perhaps the most magical part of Turkey is the province of Cappadocia. Some 10 million years ago, volcanic eruptions spread a thick layer of hot ash over the region which hardened into a soft, porous stone called tufa. Down through the ages, wind, water and sand eroded away portions of the tufa, creating moonscape valleys with undulating walls. In some places, erosion produced very elaborate, even unearthly formations. Stone boulders caught in the tufa protected the soil beneath from further erosion creating tufa columns with boulders perched on top. The locals call them fairy chimneys and they certainly turn the landscape into an enchanted forest. The tufa was easily worked with primitive tools, and early inhabitants soon discovered they could carve cave dwellings out of it. Until recently many villagers in the area lived in rock-cut cone caves like these. At the village of Uchisar, high up on a hill above the valley, the residents turned the tufa formations into a naturally fortified castle. But over the centuries, repeated carving and natural erosion have weakened some of the structures so today many of these dwelling are unsafe. Slowly the old dwelling are being left to collapse while the villagers move to more modern housing.
Perspective is from the top of the castle, down toward the valley with part of the "castle: rock formation in the foreground. Very flat light that day, so I fiddled with the contrast to make the rock stand out.

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Additional Photos by Eva Kato (dawekato) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 480 N: 357] (2269)
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