Thursday, 16 October 2014

Up Up & Away... in Cappadocia!


Riding in a Hot Air Balloon was always on my Bucket List and is something that I finally got to check that off my list in August of 2013! Now that I've done it I don't think I could have picked a better place than Cappadocia, Turkey. The scenery from up in the sky is just breathtaking and your not alone... Cappadocia is one of the most popular places in the world to go in a hot air balloon. So not only do you feel safe knowing that this is quite the popular destination you also get the beautiful view of all the other balloons in the sky!

My friend Alyce and I booked the 2 day Cappadocia Tour with optional Hot Air Balloon Ride (yes please) from Viator. Really the tour began in Istanbul... but that's a whole other story - I will be doing a post on the whole tour at a later date. Back to the Balloon - On the second day of the tour we were awoken bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the wee hours of the morning, you know the hours that you pretend don't even exist. At around 4am we were picked up along with the other hotel guests who were also doing the hot air balloon ride.

Now the other guests from the hotel just happened to be a group of 60-70 year old couples who were in a separate tour group of Turkey! My friend Alyce and I were so happy that we were going to be up in a balloon with this group as they were just the kindest and funniest people.


The transfer dropped us all off at the hot air balloon company's main building, where we had coffee and cookies to bring us to life. Not long after we were asked to sign our lives away and then we were put into balloon groups. Much to our excitement we were put into the balloon with our elderly hotel group, only to have it taken away from us 15 minutes later when they put us into another balloon group. The dissappointment ended quickly as seconds later they called our new balloon group to gather together and get ready to head to our balloon.

We were then taken outside to watch as they blew hot air into our balloon! The team worked fast and were a well oiled machine - it wasn't long before the balloon was standing upright.







Next we climbed into the balloon - which was divided into 4 sections and then there were 4 people per section, totaling 16 people in our balloon! Once we were all in there was only one place left to go UP!!


We were the first balloon of the morning up in the sky and also arguably the most colourful - reasons in which I eventually got over not being with the hotel group that I wanted to be with!  As we climbed up higher and higher we could see the sun was just starting to rise and we got beautiful clear views of the rocky landscape.




 

Our Pilot referred to himself as some sort of "daredevil" which perhaps wasn't exactly for the faint at heart type people because he liked to go from sky high to so low we were touching tree tops and just grazing over huge rock formations. Many of my pictures look as though we were actually on the ground as he would get so low for excellent viewing of the different rocks. For anyone that just wanted to float along the sky (as many of the other balloons did) probably wouldn't have enjoyed our particular pilot, however I thought it was great fun and it made for great photographs!







At one point we looked as though we were starting to land on this plateau - as the hot air balloon team that earlier helped blow it up started running towards us and I definitely felt a sigh of disappointment that I missed the gorgeous sunrise however the team was just being a bit cheeky and ran along the drifting balloon to hand some of the girls flowers and then we were back up into the sky!

Once we were back up in the sky it was sunrise time! As if just on Que the sun started to peak over the rocky mountain top.










Alyce and I were also each given a chance to pull the leaver that spits out the fiery heat!


Not long after we were landing... on top of a trailer. Lets just say I was amazed!


Now it was time to exit the balloon - which for me didn't require much work as one of the guys from the team ran over and carried me out of the balloon and onto the ground! After that there was only one thing left to do - celebrate with a glass of Champagne (mixed with orange juice)!





The guy from the tour who carried me out of the balloon insisted we get a picture together ;)
 All in all it was a magical day and I couldnt have picked a better Hot Air Balloon buddy than my bestie Alyce!

Goals and Dreams are meant to be accomplished and the feeling of checking off another thing off my list gives me such joy, and it doesn't take long before I replace it with 10 more!

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