We took a different route back to Göreme from Uçhisar, walking the road along the ridge, looking down on Pigeon Valley. This gave us a view into the areas that were not reachable from the valley floor.
We had a little trouble finding a way down, although we could see trails below, so we knew there was a way. Finally, we found it: a Turkish Tuff slide:
At the bottom of the slippery patch of Tuff, we found ourselves in a totally foreign landscape of rock cones and cylinders (I think the guidebooks call them “chimneys”).
We forged ahead, walking along ridge lines between the cones.
Then we noticed that there were numerous cones with windows and doors.
About half the cones had rooms carved in them; most were abandoned, but some, like this one, were still being lived in!
None of this was in any of the guide books, so we really didn’t know what we had stumbled upon. There were a couple souvenir stalls on the ridge up along the road, so perhaps the cones that were still occupied were the shopkeepers’ residences. I climbed up to explore a few of the vacant ones.
The best preserved of the abandoned cave rooms was apparently an ancient chapel.
There are so many cave dwellings around here that something like this doesn’t even get into any of the guide books or tours!