With so many abandoned cave dwellings in Cappadocia, farmers started using them to breed pigeons. Today our goal was to drive a fellow resident's small deity sculpture/candle holders to one of these "pigeon caves" as an art installation.
We rode through Ürgüp, and turned off onto a gravel road lined with carved fairy chimneys. Single file, we climbed the “stairs” carved into the giant rock that gradually dissolved toward the top of the soft tuffa (volcanic ash) mound. Cresting the top, we abruptly descended to enter a hidden cave entrance some 60 feet up. The 4 foot diameter rolling stone gate was once used to hide the cave and to protect its inhabitants against enemies. This room was lined with a grid of cavities dug into the walls for pigeon breeding.
Nearby views included an abandoned fresco painted church beside a dirt road that narrowed until it was just a little foot path through a tall wheat field. I climbed a huge hill and could see little windows in the tall rock face hills above. People must have lived there because there were small crops hidden in the valleys. I couldn't find the entrance anywhere, they're all secret.
They say the walls have eyes here. I definitely got that impression.