We shut the port lights on Phoenix, turned off the batteries and boarded an overnight bus to Cappadocia. This odd and unique landscape is stunningly beautiful.
|I woke with the morning call to prayer, and in the pre-dawn dusk, hiked to a bluff behind our hotel to get this sunrise shot of hot air balloons over Göreme.|
|From the bluff, there was a clear view of Uchisar, the highest point in Cappadocia. The city explodes out of the ancient caves in the mountain.|
|To the east, a set of "fairy chimneys." These were hollowed out and used as homes, storage silos and -- during the Roman era -- as tombs.|
|The area is rife with wild grapes. Cappadocians have been making wine for thousands of years. I can attest to its delicacy.|
|Many homes and popular hotels still are half in caves and half-built out.|
|In the countryside, people lived in these hill caves without modern amenities until 1952 when the government built a new village for these inhabitants because there had been too many deaths and injuries from collapses and earthquakes.|