I know we do tons of stuff to get an aerial view of landscapes that we’ve heard are beautiful. Like trekking to a high peak, chopper hiring…taking a train too. But by far, seeing Cappadocia in a Balloon has been a fab spot decision. Well a night before decision honestly.
Waking up real early is absolutely terrific if you are going to be up there watching the colors of the sky changing gorgeously, rapidly. The topography of certain parts of Kappadokya (Cappadocia) simply makes the sun throw shadows and highlights that are delightful. Besides there are vibrant colorful balloons and just so many of them up in the air. All of which add to the visual dance.
While the weather charts the course of the balloons, one does drift over Goreme. A really old town located in the midst of the unusual & intriguing fairy chimneys. When I first saw them, they were at eye level and it made me wonder what secret the land, water & wind were hiding. And once you hit the heights, the view of the sky & earth below is just stunning especially in the morning light. A quick geography class will tell you that these unique formations started with volcanic eruptions. Leaving behind debris, that were carved into these shapes over time by the environment. Different civilizations that settled there created their homes & places of worship out of the very same formations and people continue to live in them even today.
The region of Cappadocia in its earlier avatar was home to the Hittites. After their fall it made its way to the Persian Empire who gave it the name of Katpatuka meaning ‘beautiful land of the horses’. Early Christians who came to live in the region also built churches into the structures and painted it with frescos depicting Biblical stories. While you may not see these churches from atop a balloon, the panoramic view can whet your appetite for the day.
TRUST YOUR HOTEL TO BOOK THE TOUR OPERATOR
Yes, this is as touristy as it gets. And yes, my pilot on that beautiful bluish-orange morning did tell me there was a freak accident a few months prior. But that shouldn’t deter you from taking flight. There were close to 80 balloons up there at the time when I took the ride and they all I guess, landed safely. Didn’t hear otherwise.
The best way to feel comfortable about flying with a bunch of strangers in a large basket, at sometimes a height of 1500 ft, is to dream about it. Really. I had seen so many pictures of the land & the rides that I just didn’t want to miss it. And yes, find the tour operator through your hotel. The bookings can be done by them or you can choose to book independently online. In my case the entire onus was on the hotel and the car took 30 mins to drop us to the Balloon start point . For a 1 hour ride the price was $180 per person. It may seem expensive but it’s a fab view, with an up in the air feeling, safety & a sense of freedom all rolled into it.
Here’s a bunch of pictures from the show the balloons, the land & the sun put up.
I hope you are excited enough to weave it into your Turkey trip plans. Stay light.