Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia Turkey is on many peoples travel bucket list and it is well known for two things. Hotels and houses built into interesting rock formation and hot air balloon trips.
In 2016 I visited Turkey and met my mother, sister and her then fiance now husband. We visited a number of places around the country for a little over 2 weeks. I have posted some photos of Istanbul in these posts.
Today I will show you in pictures the amazing experience of taking a hot air balloon over part of the region.
We started early in the morning and there was breakfast and tea served at the HQ, we then got in buses and headed to the top of the mountain ridge outside of town.
It was a very cold morning and we were bundled up as it was just getting light. At the launch area there were already a number of hot air balloons in the sky when we arrived. They were starting to fill our balloon with hot air also. The balloon and basket would start on its side and they would use large fans to fill the balloon opening as they would start to shoot a large flame the in opening too to heat the air inside.
As the balloon filled with hot air it slowly raised off the ground and put the basket up right. We then got in the basket with the other passengers, met our pilot and prepared to life slowly off the ground.
Right as we were lifting off our pilot made the admission that he is usually just the bus driver but they were short on pilots that day so he is trying his hand at flying the balloon. I am pretty sure he was kidding because he did an amazing job of slowly lifting us off the ground and we glided close to the ground like a magic carpet ride until the ground dropped away below us into an amazing little valley filled with rock formations.
I actually think we had the best pilot because he slipped us right into the valley and we were inches above the tree tops and below the valley rim and the balloon just started tracking its way down the valley. There were many balloons in the air most of them above us so we had an interesting perspective of the valley walls which included many cave dwellings and all the balloons in the air.
Usually I really don't like crowds or very touristy things but the sheer number of hot air balloons in the air really made the sights that much more spectacular.
After descending the length of the narrow valley we flew down we reached the main large valley. At this point our pilot really hit the gas and we took off upwards higher and higher.
We flew high above the main town in the area for tourist Gorme. Then over the valley of Love known for its Phallic rock formations, I am not sure what kind of love that is.
On the far side of the valley of love we made a soft landing on the plateau top.
The pickup team was waiting with their awesome double cab Defender pull rig.
We helped push the air out of the balloon, toasted champagne and then they used out bodies to further compress the bag of balloon. they even managed to find someone who could lift and throw me.
Next post from Turkey will be the rock formations of Cappadocia.