The number ONE way to experience Cappadocia

Cappadocia in Turkey
A Hot Air Balloon adventure in Cappadocia, Turkey

I am absolutely terrified of heights and looking over the edge of a mountain scares me to no end. But I do believe that, once a year, I should do something that scares the hell out of me. When I read about taking a hot-air balloon and drifting across the beautiful landscape of Cappadocia in Turkey, I decided that this would be my brave thing for the year. I am so glad that I did not let my fear keep me from this amazing experience as it ended up being one of my most memorable travel moments ever!

Hot Air Ballooon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey
Just after sunrise

That morning after getting up early I got to glide above the unique rocks and valleys of Cappadocia as the sun came up and lit up the valleys below. The sky was filled with colourful balloons, all with 10-28 passengers per basket. Although there were hundreds op people on this morning adventure it felt very serene and peaceful.

Cappadocia in Turkey
The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia

After a while of drifting I dared to look over the side of the basket and admit that it wasn’t as scary as looking over the side of a very high bridge. I did not dare move around and stood there clinging to the basket but also enjoying one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. It took me a couple of minutes to work up the courage to let go one hand so that I could take photos. But once I got to see the valleys through the lens of camera I had all the courage needed to capture it on film.

Cappadocia in Turkey
I missed sunrise as I was still frozen to one spot and too afraid to move

Propelled by the breeze, we drifted over the valleys and iconic fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. I got to enjoy breathtaking panoramic vistas and at times we made descents that almost allowed me to touch the rocks!

Cappadocia in Turkey
High up in the sky and looking down over the beautiful valleys

We floated above the valleys for nearly an hour until wind and fire floated us gently back to earth. I for one was very glad to be out of the floating basket and have my feet firmly on the earth again. My legs were shaking but the views made this scary experience amazing and one I would actually go and do again.

Cappadocia in Turkey
What an amzing experience!

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

Meeting the rising sun over the valleys and vineyards of Cappadocia
Meeting the rising sun over the valleys and vineyards of Cappadocia

The Golden Hour. In photography, the “golden hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day. Photographers venture out on sunrise hikes or sunset treks to capture a magical shot, due to the quality of the light during that time of day. My most memorable “golden hour” moment was while floating in a hot air balloon over the unique rock formations of Cappadocia meeting the rising sun over the valleys and vineyards. The balloon ride provided a privileged platform from which to observe the splendor that is Cappadocia. Drifting effortlessly in the hot air balloon, there was no sense of motion as we passes the tens of other balloons also gracing the morning sky.

Cappadocia during the “golden hour” ,the first  hour of sunlight of the day.
Cappadocia during the “golden hour” ,the first hour of sunlight of the day.

Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia in Turkey with exceptional natural wonders, in particular the fairy chimneys that fill the valleys.

These are sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams and ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago. The rocks of Cappadocia eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms that today are called Fairy Chimneys. 

Drifting effortlessly in the hot air balloon over the spectaculat landscape of Cappadocia
Drifting effortlessly in the hot air balloon over the spectacular landscape of Cappadocia

Seeing the valley lit up by the morning sunlight while drifting over this dramatic volcanic landscape that formed the region over two million years ago was definitely an unforgettable experience!