Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia in Turkey

Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia in Turkey

Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia in Turkey

Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia in Turkey

By Vikki Gibson

Ring! Ring! It’s our 3:45 a.m. wake-up call. When I open my eyes I don’t know that they are open. It’s pitch-black! Panic! Why can’t I see? Then I remember, I’m in a cave; a beautiful Turkish cave. Time to get up. The balloon company will pick us up at 4:45 a.m. and I need coffee before I voluntarily float hundreds of feet above the ground. This morning we are taking a hot air balloon ride over the same valleys that we criss-crossed on foot yesterday.

Kapadokya Balloons

Kapadokya Balloons

Kapadokya Balloons is the first private commercial hot air balloon company to be licensed in Turkey. Their pilots are  professional and safety is their prime consideration. Their early pick-up at the hotel deposited us on a field in the valley in the dark, to watch the trucks and trailers arriving, carrying baskets and propane and balloons and pilots and everything it would take to get us up in the air.

Kapadokya Balloon Ride

Kapadokya Balloon Ride

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh; the sound of propane tanks firing. The ground starts to give way. All around us we see beautifully colored floating vessels quietly slipping past us.  Up and down. To the right, and now to the left.  Look up at the underside of our cavernous balloon, watch the flames shoot up into the stomach of the fabric, and feel the balloon slowly rise into the morning sky.

Below is the crown of another balloon, colorful and geometric, hugging the tops of the fairy chimneys. Look up to the underside of a basket, carrying a handful of tourist, like us, oohing and aahing at the views and the incredible experience of floating through the dawn a thousand feet above a beautiful valley.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

It was a once in a lifetime experience. The views of the valleys changed at every turn and movement of the balloon. Fairy chimneys, windswept brumes, soft volcanic rock carved by water and wind into a thousand different organic shapes filled our eyes. Precipitous cliffs dotted with caves invoked imaginations of life here hundreds and thousands of years ago when it was populated by Hittites, Byzantines, and Christians. Now tourists, tour buses, and hot air balloons inhabit these eerie geological masterpieces.

Kapadokya Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

Kapadokya Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

In the east the sun rose above the unique landscape. The cliffs turned golden and burned orange and then terracotta red all in a blink of an eye. Then we landed with a soft plop. A Kapadokya van whisked us back to our hotel for breakfast and a hot shower before our Euphrates Tour van arrived to start our second day of sightseeing.

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Bio:
Vikki Gibson is an RN from Cranbrook, British Columia, Canada who loves cultural travel. She got the idea of blogging about her trip from her son, Matt, who runs the popular adventure travel blog: Matt Gibson’s Adventure Travel Site.

One Response to Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia in Turkey

  1. Wow! I never wanted to go to Turkey until I read these articles and saw the pictures!! Now I can’t wait to plan a trip there!! I want to stay in the cave hotel!

    Holly Propp 11/16/2012 at 1:51 pm

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