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Kids' Zone Abeja Dispatch

Deal of the Centuries: Abeja Sells You a Hole in the Ground
March 15, 2000

Looking for a cozy little cave in the hills? Well, now is the time to buy!

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Welcome to Cappadocia Realty! My name is Abeja, and I'd be happy to show you through some of the lovely stone carved houses we have here in Turkey. Believe me, I am an expert in dwellings carved out of rock. I've explored the cliff dwellings all over the world.

Let me tell you, a stone house is an excellent value, guaranteed to last you for years. The houses you'll see today were actually built 60 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet.

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There are just no words to describe the magical landscape that graces these valleys in Turkey. Mother Nature began this architectural wonder when the earth buckled, and three volcanoes erupted in the area.

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Come on inside and see what I'm talking about! Yes, you have to climb a little, and then crawl into this small hole. You might have guessed that I am not your typical realtor by the fact that I wear these scruffy pants and hiking boots.

Careful coming up, it's a little tricky. You have to crawl on your belly in places. Sorry! The previous occupants did sweep up before they moved out, but that was at least several hundred years ago. The wind and rain have eroded the tufa and left a layer of dirt for us to crawl through. Nothing that about 200 passes with a Dustbuster couldn't handle.


architectural - designed as if by man
tufa - a porous limestone rock
niches - small spaces in a wall

As you can see, what you lose in space you make up for in height! The view from the top of these Fairy Chimneys is spectacular. They also keep you safe from your enemies. No one can mount an attack up a little tunnel, having to crawl in on their belly!

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larger view
Let's try over here, in a slightly older area. You can tell that it's older because the basalt roofs are gone from most of the houses, leaving only the white tufa behind. If you look here at the walls, you can still see the marks left by the carving tools.

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The little niches carved on the outside and inside of some of the rooms are called pigeon lofts. Pigeons are encouraged to roost there, and the guano (poop) they leave behind is used to fertilize the fields. Clever, eh? I, personally, haven't had the pleasure of collecting the guano, but I know that it makes for tasty, healthy vegetables!


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

Jasmin - But Officer! We Didn't Do Anything! Jasmine and Monica: Suspected!

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