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By Vicki Haddock - 16 March 2008

Turkey's rocks of ages: 'Fairy chimneys,' tunnel cities of Cappadocia

(03-16) 04:00 PDT Ayvali , Turkey Night descends on this desolate valley as the yatsi - the final Muslim prayer call from the muezzin - ricochets across the gorge.

A donkey brays, its hooves giving off a staccato clop-clop as it heads for home. Otherwise the village is serene except for the locals sharing a feast on a stone deck nearby, chattering away in what is, to our ears, indecipherable Turkish. The light casts eerie shadows upon holes in the cliff where villagers made their homes for thousands of years.

WHERE TO STAY : Hotel Gamirasu, in village of Ayvali about 6 miles south of Urgup, offers 18 rooms and suites built into the caves of an ancient monastery. Standard rooms about 0 per night, up to 0 a night for suite with fireplace, sauna and DVD player. Buffet breakfast included. Gamirasu restaurant serves a six-course Turkish dinner. Owners can arrange free one-way transportation from Kayseri airport. 011-90-384-341-7485, www.gamirasu.com.

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