Today is a very special day. Today is the day I have been waiting for our four years and the main purpose of my trip to Turkey this year. I am finally going to fly on the hot air balloon over the magical Cappadocia valley.
I woke up very early in the morning at 4am for the ride to my balloon. As I waited for my ride, I noticed the noise and glow of balloons coming alive and preparing for their flight. Hundreds of balloons started twinkling beneath the Cappadocia valley like fireflies. It was an incredible sight. Soon, my van arrived. I joined a group of random strangers on the right to our balloon. The ride to our balloon spot was filled with wonderful views of balloons coming to life. It was a really beautiful view in the early dawn sky.
We finally reached our balloon spot. Our majestic balloon was lying on its side and the workers were trying to fill it with air to bring it into life. They were using a flamethrower and a couple of fans to get the hot air inside the balloon to wake it up.
After about 20 minutes of hard work, our balloon was fully upright and we were asked to board the hot air balloon basket. The basket is pretty huge and can carry up to 20 people comfortably. It is divided into four parts for passengers. Each part can hold up to 5 people comfortably. The captain and his helper stays in the center and control the burner to navigate the balloon. After we boarded the basket, we were shown how to prepare in case of an emergency or landing.
Soon the balloons started rising up. It went up very smoothly and quickly.
We went up to a height of over 600 meters. The view from up there revealed the beautiful scene of hundreds of balloons traversing the landscape of Cappadocia valley. Our captain told that 162 balloons took flight that day and hundreds of such balloons take flight each day for over 270 days of the year. I was speechless seeing the view from up. The view was so amazing that I was not sure if it was a dream or a reality.
We also went very close over a hill. It was almost as if we were going to crash into the hill.
The balloon journey continued for almost two hours before we started descending for landing. The captain used the burner to control the intensity of the flame, to manage the height of the balloon. The flame is pretty hot, it feels like you are getting grilled alive when the burner is on.
Our captain landed the balloon very skillfully, on a trailer that was connected to a pickup truck. It was a very smooth and safe landing. We didn’t have to stay in the safe pose that was shown during the beginning of the flight.
After the successful landing, we were served a glass of champagne and was given a certificate of proof of flying on the hot air balloon.
I had to pay over 160 EUR for this billion ride. It was already on the very expensive side. For that price, I would not recommend another balloon ride. But it is a pretty great one-time experience in life and a great activity to check off from your bucket list.