Wonders of the World – Hot Air Balloons Over Cappadocia
“One of the greatest sights in the world can be seen just before sunrise when hot air balloons take off from around Goreme in Cappadocia, central Turkey. The balloons in themselves are spectacular enough, but combine them with the strange rock formations of Capadoccia and you have a sight to be believed. Cappadocia is in the remote steppe in central Turkey. The surrealistic geological formation of Cappadocia is one of the wonders of the world. During the Tertiary period of geological development, 2 to 65 million years ago, a belt of huge volcanoes covered Cappadocia with Volcanic ash to a huge depth. This consolidated into volcanic tufa rock which is soft and porous which was covered by a harder layer of volcanic lava. Over time the rain has eroded the soft rock away creating incredible rock formations. Its remoteness made Cappadocia a good area to hide and early Christians came to Cappadocia to escape the Roman purges. They dug into the soft tufa and hollowed out churches and whole monasteries. Whole cities were cut into high cliff faces and all around Goreme windows of troglodyte houses can be seen in the rock faces. The word unique is much over used but it describes very accurately the incredible landscape and history of Cappadocia.” Paul Williams.