Friday, February 11, 2011

The Balloon Trip Goreme

Cappadocia to Mardin part 3 The Balloon Trip

Tuesday 4th May. The Balloon Trip!!

Well here’s the first negative note of the holiday. We had to get up at 05.20 for our balloon trip!!!

But it was worth it! If you are coming to Cappadocia, beg steal or borrow, but find the money for the balloon trip. And make sure you spend the extra and do the De Luxe trip.

There is no comparison between the two. There appears to be far more space on the de luxe tour We saw the other trips getting ready to take off and they were stuffed into the baskets like sardines. There were only ten of us in the basket and everyone had a excellent view.

The de luxe trip also lasts a good 90 minutes in comparison to approximately 50 for other tours. Jules was amazed we had booked the de luxe trip, considering I have an unreasonable fear of heights. However my desire to take the trip was stonger than my fear.

We were collected at our hotel and I must say for someone of my athletic ability, climbing into the basket was a bit of a challenge. I’m glad no-one was unkind enough to record it. However once installed it was up, up and away among the fairy chimneys. As we sailed close to them our pilot Hayri of Goreme Balloons informed us he was Turkey’s youngest pilot but he never tells anyone until he is in the air.

He may be young but we were in safe hands. The lift-off was barely noticeable. Sometimes we were very high and at others passing over trees and fairy chimneys by a whisker. It was amazing but even when we were at our highest I had no sense of fear. Perhaps because the sides of the basket are quite high I felt totally safe. There is also no sense of motion just a feeling of being suspended in mid air.

Both the ascent and descent is like a very smooth elevator ride. It was amazing how the pilot and ground crew brought the balloon to land on the small flatbed trailer, designed to transport the baskets to and from the launch sites. It was also fascinating to see the big majestic balloon rolled and folded up into a neat package.

Then after champagne or fruit juice, to celebrate the flight we were presented with certificates to commerate the event.
Then it was back to the hotel for breakfast, and a snooze in the hammock.

Next is the Ilhara Valley and therein hangs a tale!


  1. I've always wanted to do a balloon tour of the Napa Valley in California...some of the most beautiful area on earth...I love the photos you got and envy you that trip...including your youngest pilot!

  2. It was an amazing experience, especially for someone who is scared of heights. If you ever get the opportunity, go for it.


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