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Love Valley and the Evil Eye Tree

The first leg of our mini tour of Turkey in Göreme was coming to an end. We’d floated over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon and explored the depths of Derinkuyu underground city. We visited the Open Air Museum and slept in a fairy chimney in a wonderful boutique cave hotel.

We’d done a lot during our stay but had one day left before leaving for Pamukkale. We wanted to get out into the countryside and see some of those towering fairy chimneys up close and visit the evil eye tree.

Fairy Chimneys, Goreme

The valleys and volcanic rock formations around Göreme make for some interesting hiking. Hassan from the hotel gave us directions to the nearest fairy chimneys in Love Valley. It’s on the road to Avanos and about a 20- minute walk. We set off with a sense of adventure and plenty water.

Evil Eye Tree

Out of town on the Cavusin road we passed a lone Aussie bar which had a tree laden with nazar boncuğu or evil eye talismans. Blue glass against a cobalt sky. The Evil Eye Tree. In Turkey, and Greece, the Evil Eye has a deep cultural symbolism.

The evil eye talisman is fixed to anything perceived to attract greed, envy, or ill-will to ward off evil. We noticed the nazars all over Turkey; secreted over doorways, nailed to the masts of boats, embedded into thresholds and displayed in shops, bars and restaurants. There was even one on our hotel key fob.

The evil eye tree dripped with glinting glass eyes which looked like small shiny fruits ripe for the picking – at a small cost of 1TL.

 

Evil Eye Tree TurkeyEvil eye tree in Goreme, Turkey

Get your own evil eye here

We carried on through the shimmering heat and turned right at the ‘Tourist Hotel Goreme’. Following a dusty track we headed for the chimneys towering in the distance.

On rounding a capacious bush we came face to face with a pop-up café, Turkish style, which an elderly couple had set up, selling cay (Turkish tea), coffee and souvenirs. More evil eyes winked at us in the sun. 

The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia

The chimneys were calling, looming larger than they looked from the road and casting long cooling shadows across the pale volcanic rock. We were faced with steep mounds which we clambered up on all fours to reach an inner set of chimneys.

 

Fairy Chimneys, Love Valley, Goreme

The stacks were much taller than we expected, reaching skyward with thick lines of horizontal strata and erosion.  Some were grey and wide, others were taller and skinny the colour of sandstone and on a distinct lean. 

 

Fairy Chimneys, Love Valley, Goreme

There were caves in some of the structures but they were high up and we resisted the temptation to rock climb. After all, once you get up there you’ve gotta get down again!  As we stopped for a breather and to take some photos we discovered that the chimneys weren’t the only pointy things around. A nasty little wasp decided to embed its sting in Mr Jones’ foot and by the language spouted I’m guessing it hurt.

I squished the culprit before it got me too and I’m glad I did because that wasp sting was to have lasting repercussions. You can read about what happened in my Bodrum post. We’d had two chances to buy a talisman and hadn’t. There might just be something in this evil eye protection!


For more Turkish delights read on…


Rose Valley

View to Rose Valley from Goreme

The views to Rose Valley opposite were magnificent.  Although we’d planned to go back the way we came, via the café for some refreshment, we couldn’t help but climb higher and higher.

We made it to the top of Görkündere Ridge which overlooks the valley. It took about half an hour but when we finally got to the top we could see over the chimneys and far across to the amazing panorama beyond. Well worth the climb.

Fairy Chimneys, Goreme

It soon became clear that Göreme was on the other side of the ridge. We pushed on trying to find a shortcut back.  As we walked we realised that the ridge led to the ‘lookout point’ where people gathered perilously close to the edge to photograph the sunset.

As we stood looking down over the town the sound of the muezzin’s echoing call to prayer wafted in the air. One of those moments when you just have to stop and quietly soak it all up.

We trecked back down the other side of the ridge and through the town. We’d had an amazing few days in Goreme and would have loved to have stayed longer. But we had a schedule and needed to be at the Otogar by 7.30 that evening for the next stage of our Turkey Tour and the dreaded night bus to Pamukkale.

 

PIN IT!

A hike through Love Valley, Goreme, Cappadocia

top 10 indian food

Thursday 7th of January 2021

It’s been more than 20 years since we visited this special region and other areas of Turkey. For a month we caught buses across the world and stayed in ridiculously inexpensive hotels of outstanding design. Meals have always been very fun and useful. The people are ever-present. Thank you so much for getting your interesting articles back to you. This was especially evoking the soundtrack of your short Goreme video. Maybe I have some old pictures to digitalize.... Peet is worried

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Turkey is a fabulous country to visit especially for the people and the food. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed my articles and hope we will all be able to travel again some time soon.

top 10 indian food

Thursday 7th of January 2021

hope you bought yourself and your Mr a nazar boncuk – just think, if you had been wearing one, you would not have been stung lol ;-;)

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

We did buy some at the beginning of the hike. Maybe we should have been wearing them!

pdjpix

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

It's been more than 20 years since we visited this unique region and other parts of Turkey. For a month we caught buses around the country and stayed in ridiculously cheap hotels of excellent quality. Meals were always interesting and very good value. The people endlessly friendly. Thanks for bringing back some great memories with your enticing posts. The soundtrack of your short Goreme film was particularly evocative. I might have to digitalise some old photos.... regards Peet

The Travelbunny

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

How lovely to have spent a month here and before it became more commercialised - I'm pleased to say the food is still excellent and the people so friendly. Let me know if you digitalise your photos as I'd love to see them. Thank you for your comments and for spending time at my blog which is very much appreciated.

Turkeywithstuffin

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

I hope you bought yourself and your Mr a nazar boncuk - just think, if you had been wearing one, you would not have been stung lol ;-;)

The Travelbunny

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

Ha ha - we bought lots! Hindsight eh....

Lucy Dodsworth

Tuesday 5th of March 2013

Such a bizarre landscape, it's so unusual. Enjoy Morocco and the sunshine!

The Travelbunny

Tuesday 5th of March 2013

I love bizarre and quirky! Very much looking forward to some sunshine, although today is lovely :)