For the next few weeks I (Christina) will be doing some traveling in Europe (hopefully with no ash cloud delays) and one place I will visit is the Cappadocia region of Turkey. This stark landscape covered with rough mountains is home to several small towns that are actually full of modern day troglodytes living in caves.
The rocks of Cappadocia have eroded over the years into conical structures that the Turkish call “fairy chimneys”. This sedimentary rock was easy for the ancient people of the area to carve out caves for houses, churches and monasteries. People still live in these ancient holes in the ground and have turned some of them into hotels, apartments and shops.
Göreme is probably the most famous town in Cappadocia. It’s popular with hikers, mountain bikers and lovers of history. Göreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD and you can still tour some of the monastic caves and underground tunnels. Some people who live in the area have been known to begin working on creating a new room for their homes (by scraping away portions of existing walls) only to discover an ajoining cave that dates back to ancient times.