Sailing across a beautiful landscape in a hot air balloon had always been on my bucket list and for this reason, we planned on visiting Cappadocia while we were traveling in Turkey. Cappadocia lies in the central part of Turkey and is known for its arid terrain, colorful valleys, fairyland like mushroom-shaped chimneys and hot air ballooning over them, all of these are quite romantic in its own way.
As many of us might have come across the breath-taking pictures of hundreds of balloons floating in the air against the vividly colored sky of Cappadocia during the dawn. Inspired by these pictures, my husband and I decided to spend a couple of nights in this adventurous land and after a thorough research, we decided on Butterfly Balloons company.
But, when we arrived at our hotel on the previous day and enquired further about hot air ballooning in Cappadocia with our hotel manager, he warned us that sometimes the tours get canceled because of the bad weather and extreme wind conditions for which we had to be prepared and not to get disappointed by this. I prayed and kept my fingers crossed as our sole purpose of visiting Cappadocia was the hot air balloon.
Finally, to our relief, we didn’t get any calls regarding cancellations in the morning, and hence we woke up early and got ready. We were picked up from our hotel by a van and driven to the headquarters of Butterfly Balloons where we were served some breakfast and hot coffee which was really comforting from the chilly morning. After few minutes of waiting here, we were taken to the location where our balloon lay deflated and few men were working on it to get it flying. In the sky, I could already see few of the balloons floating and I couldn’t contain my excitement seeing this. After briefing us about the do’s and dont’s we were asked to step into the basket along with 14 other guests.
Slowly, the burner started making the hissing sound and we started moving up away from the ground. In no time we were floating upwards towards the west over the Love Valley and we would see the sun slowly making an appearance in the east behind the Mount Erciyes, throwing a splendid crimson orb around it. This site was to behold and the colors in the sky looked so surreal that I was totally mesmerized.
We were surrounded by the crisp, cold morning air as we had visited Cappadocia during the end of spring in November last year. Our balloon flew in the direction the wind blew as the caption maneuvered the attitudes. My husband who is a pilot, was very intrigued by the concept of hot air balloon flight techniques hence he had few questions to ask with the caption, Mr. Mustafa who was in charge of our balloon 😉 Hot air balloon operates on a basic theory that warm air rises in cooler air because hot air has less mass per unit of volume than cool air. To keep the balloon, that is the envelope as they call it, floating hot air is propelled up towards it using a burner.
We rose high along with the sun passing over the colorful valleys, chimney shaped structures, pigeon holes, and the whole area looked spectacular from the above. It looked as if I was seeing this landscape through the kaleidoscope where the colors changed dramatically every minute from crimson hues to blues. It was truly a magical experience to watch the sunrise over this out of this planet like landscape and hence I know why hot air balloon is a must try in Cappadocia.We enjoyed our one hour flight taking in all the beauty from 5000ft height and finally landed in the fields in a slow, swaying motion. We were amazed how skillfully Mustafa landed our basket right on the back of a trailer. As the tradition goes our caption popped open the champagne to celebrate the successful completion of our tour.
Have you guys tried hot air balloon in Cappadocia or any other place in the world? Do suggest any other place where we can try this again in the comments below!