Cappadocia, Day 3

We had a hike of Rose Valley booked with a private guide and we set off in the morning while it was still nice and cool.  We passed by the home of a local family who still tended to their fields using a horse and plow and did some beekeeping in one of the caves.

The hike through Rose Valley was probably my favorite experience in Goreme thanks to its impressive landscapes, hidden churches, and our guide, Jules, who had lived in Turkey for nearly five years and had a lot of insight and stories to share.

Jules had mentioned that the pigeons in Cappadocia do somersaults while they’re flying, noting that this was unique to the area and it was unknown why they engaged in this behavior.  After we returned from the hike, I went for a walk that she recommended and looked for somersaulting pigeons.  I stopped at several locations, focusing on any flying pigeons–something I never do in New York.  Alas, none of them somersaulted but I speculated that perhaps they do this because they’re living the good life in Cappadocia.  The locals have historically built dove-cotes for pigeons, even through the present day, and pigeons are viewed as sacred in the Muslim religion so they are neither hunted nor eaten.  Given the shelters they’re provided and the fact that their valued in the area, I guessed they might be among the happiest pigeons on earth.

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