Day 30 (1): Up in the air

Goreme Travel Blog

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balloons ready to take off
One of the things I always wanted to do was take a flight in a hot air balloon. Apparently one of the best places in the world to do this is Cappadocia. The winds here are particularly favourable and every morning more than 200 people take off in some 40 odd balloons to glide over the fairy chimneys for an hour or so.
 
So I decided to give myself a little present and go on a balloon flight. I got picked up from the hostel early in the morning and we drove to a flat bit of land just outside Göreme. It was quite an impressive sight, some 40 balloons being inflated and going up in the air at the same time.
There are several price options for a balloon flight, and I had taken the middle option. I couldn't see myself doing a flight with 35 people in a basket, So I had gone for the middle option which held 20 people in a basket (although we were only with 16 people).
Me in my balloon, about to take off
Still quite massive I guess, but at least this provided plenty of room to look around and take pictures.

And oh, what picture opportunities there were. While it may seem that 40 balloons in the air is a bit of overkill, it actually provided for wonderful shots from the air. Well, see for yourself.

The ballooning experience itself, well, I have to say that it wasn't as exhilarating as I had thought it would be. Once you are over the initial moment of vertigo (and the realisation that you are floating 100+ metres up in the air in a reed basket carried by nylon and hot air) it doesn't really get the adrenaline flowing. Don't get me wrong, I loved the experience, but it was a bit more tame than I had expected.

After landing we were treated to a glass of local champagne (I guess that is tradition here) and our balloon set off again with a second group.
first balloons in the air
Yup, ballooning is big business in Göreme, 40 balloons up in the air, and many of them doing two flights, even though there are dangers involved with changing winds later in the morning.

I had a few hours left to entertain myself before my bus to Kayseri left. I dropped my luggage off at the bus station and just hung around town for a while. I had loved Göreme. I could have stayed here for a week without getting bored. There is so much to see and do in the area, but just staying in town not doing anything would have sufficed. Göreme is one of those places where just being there makes you happy.

But I was on a strict time schedule, so I couldn't stay longer. I had only 19 days left to get to Iran, and there was a whole lot of Turkey still to be explored, not to mention three more countries I wanted to visit before heading into Iran.
sarahsan says:
It does not give you an adrenaline kick, but it is so peaceful and quiet when you float through the air. Quite exciting to watch the desert wake up - snakes and lizards moving around. I did it at sunrise over the desert near Swakopmund in Namibia. The adventure ended with a champagne breakfast in the desert! Very nice!
Posted on: May 17, 2010
edsander says:
> it doesn't really get the adrenaline flowing <
Very true. I've done it twice and I would prefer to describe it as 'peaceful' rather than 'exciting'.
> After landing we were treated to a glass of local champagne (I guess that is tradition here) <
Nope, that's a worldwide tradition in ballooning. Wish they'd changed it to a good cold pint of lager instead. ;-)
Excellent pictures by the way.
Posted on: May 17, 2010
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balloons ready to take off
balloons ready to take off
Me in my balloon, about to take off
Me in my balloon, about to take off
first balloons in the air
first balloons in the air
Well, this isnt me, obviously, bu…
Well, this isn't me, obviously, b…
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
take off
take off
our shadow as we have a near-colli…
our shadow as we have a near-coll…
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
always comforting to know youre n…
always comforting to know you're …
Pinnacles from above
Pinnacles from above
getting pretty high now
getting pretty high now
Soaring high in the air
Soaring high in the air
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
dont push guys, theres room for …
don't push guys, there's room for…
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
casting shadows in the early morni…
casting shadows in the early morn…
another balloon with a near-miss
another balloon with a near-miss
trying to all land at the same time
trying to all land at the same time
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
Ballooning over Cappacodia
always nice to have a little heate…
always nice to have a little heat…
after landing
after landing
our balloon taking off again
our balloon taking off again
collection of movies from my ball…
Goreme
photo by: spocklogic