The Erciyes Dag (3916m), an extinct volcano south of Kayseri, is the highest mountain in central Anatolia. After two days with sandstorm the sky was full of dust, even here in 2850m above sea level. The mountain top at the end of the valley is hardly visible. Up to the valley here is a path, but from the end of the valley to the top, you have to find the way yourself. Here you have to climb up some screeslopes, all the time aware of stones, falling down from the rocks. The air becomes thin, the lack of oxygene makes you feel exhausted - and the next day makes you feel your muscle ache...
More panoramas at http://www.derPanoramafotograf.com
Cappadocia is a part of central Turkey. Eruptions of several volcanoes (e.g. Erciyes Dag, Hasan Dag) had covered the area with tuff. Erosion dug valleys and created an uncountable number of different shaped rocks. The tuff's ability to store water made the valleys much more fertile than the higher surroundings. After the arrival of the first people, they soon started to dig caves into the soft stone. By the time they developed the ability to dig cities into the underground with tunnels of several kilometers. A sophisticated pipe- and tunnel-system cared for fresh air and water, to enable the people to hide from enemies for a long time. In the 5th century hermits started to settle in the valleys and to paint their caves. In the next centuries more and more hermits and monks arrived and a rich cave-architecture with colourfull wallpaintings developed. The most famous are the churches of Goereme and the Peristrema Valley (=Ihlara Valley) between Ihlara and Selime. Today thousands of tourists from all over the world are visiting the area.