Tuesday, June 28, 2011


On the morning of our second ride, we went for a hot air balloon flight.  This was meant to be scheduled later in the itinerary, but there was a backlog of balloon passengers due to terrible rains just before we arrived, and it was the only time the balloon company could guarantee us a slot.  We were all up for it, but it made for a very long day.  Our wake-up call was at 4.20am, not that a wake-up call was necessary – our first night in Cappadocia was spent in a cave hotel in Avanos situated next to a mosque which, at 4am, trumpets prayers loud enough to reach the whole town.

Early morning is the only time you can go ballooning because of the rising air as the sun hits the cold ground.  It takes about an hour to get the balloons inflated, and then 20 people pile into the basket and we’re off.

The flight took us over serrated towers of stone and into valleys where we were surrounded by caves dug into the tufa rock.  We went up into the high mist dissolving in the sun and floated with perhaps 40 other balloons.

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