Drinking Apple Tea in the Rose Valley Fairy Chimneys
A thirty-minute walk from Goreme's town center will bring you to Rose Valley, an area of apple orchards, bizarre rock formations, known as 'fairy chimneys,' and hiking paths that will lead you high into the hills above. With a few free afternoon hours in Cappadocia, I decided to do a self-guided hike into the valley. Tourist season had officially ended in Turkey, and I felt as if I had the entire area to myself. I strolled up into the hills and around the fairy chimneys. I said hello as I passed a family picking apples from their orchard and then didn't cross paths with another human being until I reached a Byzantine Church high up in the hills. I toured the church, admiring the worn frescoes from the 10th Century and then ordered an apple tea from the worker guarding the church entrance and a small stand of gifts. We conversed in broken English as I sipped the sweet tea and admired the view down into Rose Valley and beyond.