When you read descriptions of Imagination Valley, the brain conjures up thoughts of extraordinary rocks that will make you wonder if Mother Nature has a B.A. in Fine Arts. However, when you actually visit Imagination Valley (properly called Devrent Valley), you kick yourself for feeling a little let down because it means you kind of fell for the marketing ploy. Don’t get me wrong – the valley is pretty neat with all sorts of shapes in the rocks. Nevertheless, I feel that there really is only one rock that actually looks like something and all the other rocks were designated a “I look like XYZ” name just to get tourists to come.
If you look hard enough, you’re supposed to be able to see things like snake, seals, and dolphins. It’s supposed to be a veritable zoo. A valley full of rocks that “look like…” stuff is a much bigger draw than just one rock that looks like a camel. My poor guide tried really hard to get the group to see what he claimed to see but we weren’t having it. Even the heavens pooh-poohed the idea by periodically spitting at us.
So, do I recommend Devrent Valley? Sure, why not (said with a shrug). It is very close to Goreme, it is another valley of fun rock shapes, and you just might find a rock that speaks to you. If you get bored, there is always the people-watching, the few stalls for shopping at the side of the road, and a dog or two lazing about in the sun. There are no rock churches, no ruins, no frescoes – you really have to be interested in curious landscapes in order to make your visit to Devrent Valley worth your time.
How about this? Instead of looking for animals in the otherworldly Cappadocian landscape of Devrent Valley, how about pretending to be a space explorer visiting an unexplored planet? You can even be Captain Kirk dodging the aliens shooting green crap at you, “pew pew! pew pew!” Whatever you choose to do, give the old noggin a chance to work out – you never know what the imagination will come up with!
What do you think? Is Imagination Valley clever marketing? Do people smoke a pipe or two before visiting the Valley? Or do I just have a bad imagination?