Ihlara Valley, Turkey
October 18, 2007
Over the eons, the Melendiz River in Turkey has helped form the scenic Ihlara Valley. Andesite and basalt lava, as well as soft tufa sediments, deposited by successive eruptions of the now extinct Mount Erciyes and Mount Hasan (in the Cappadocia region of Turkey) have been eroded to form steep canyons and gorges. On this photo, the long, sinuous rows of poplars contrast nicely with these reddish canyon walls.
The Ihlara Valley was a shelter for Roman-persecuted Christians. A hike through the nine-mile (15 km) long valley reveals about 4,000 dwellings and 100 small churches, many dating from Byzantine times. Photo taken on March 26, 2006.