Cappadocia Hot Air Ballooning:Experience,Turkey10:54 PM
The florescent flutter of balloon lights
Flying over fairy chimneys,the red and the rose valleys and the Greek village of Cavusin,that static feeling of forever lost in eternal with landscapes that make you spellbound with 100's of adjacent balloons in sight makes Cappadocia the best place for Hot Air Ballooning in the world.I couldn't have imagined a better flight than I had experienced.
Life is nothing but an adventure
With choices as plenty,I went along with TripAdvisor reviews of Cappadocia Voyager Balloons.I was greeted by Pilot Halis who smoothly glided the balloons ending up with a little celebration with Champagne and Certificates and content smiling faces of the fliers at the end.What surprised me,was the smooth landing over the trailer,impressive as bollywoodish,something I had thought would land on the field but didn't.
Watch my video on 'When I Did Ballooning In The Best Site In The World'
Pilot Halis Aydogan says
"The tradition goes back to France.The king of France celebrated the landing of Montgolfier brothers with Champagne.Montgolfier brothers are the guys who did the first Ballooning ride by 1783"
Cappadocia Voyager Balloons:Pre Rise Of The Dawn
I always get caught up between my desire to sleep longer and my enthusiasm to view the sunrise.Many a times,I skip the sunrise as the lazy heart in me refuses to leave my bed.Today was different.To my delight,I got early at around 5am with my first alarm buzz,the pickup time given was 5:30 am from Walnut House,Goreme(where I stayed as recommended on Lonely Planet Guidebooks),Dressed up in smart casuals,I carried a jacket as I was being told in the interactions by mail,that mornings are cold and so is the air up above.Turkey in general was cold in October with Istanbul being the coldest.After reaching Cappadocia Voyager Balloons office,I saw many enthusiasts waiting for their flight. Cappadocia is a pretty place to walk around,I would soon be writing about my 10 days in Turkey in detail in my December posts.We were told to have snacks and coffee if we needed,use washrooms if possible before we had to the field.If you plan to visit Turkey and have any queries,you may ask me down here at the comment box. :)
Cappadocia Voyager Balloons:Rise of the Dawn And Playground of Lights
At the wee morning hours,when the sun was yet to rise,and the darkness still prevailed,the glow of the burner on the balloons at different takeoff areas was a distinct florescent moment,as if we were witnessing the turn-off-turn-on burner as a continuous time lapse live.It looked like a playground of lights and balloons,as if all of a sudden Cappadocia was a party town all set to rise and wander together.
When we reached our take off area,we saw our balloons opening up with flashes of burner.Eagerly we all stepped in,keeping one foot in and another further in in the basket,so we get into compartments we were told to be in.We were also informed about and told to repeat sitting position in case of bumpy landing.We were told we could move in the compartments to change our positions while taking pictures,but slow moments wouldn't disturb the equilibrium.
Before we took off,our smiling faces of excitement were clicked by their photographer which they told us we can collect by the end of the flight(It costs around 20 TL for one picture but they are quite nice)
Cappadocia Voyager Balloons:The Flight Experience
One thing that comes to my mind if I had ever fantasized ballooning was the animated movie "Up" where this old chap chases his childhood dream and flies in the bunch of balloons to a distant home on a cliff only to realize at the end that people are more important than any of his dreams.
It was the feeling of carried away or rather toyed away that Ballooning gives.
It goes on really slow,as if taking its own time,gathering height moment by moment letting the fresh air in from the mornings,and by the time you realize you would be somewhere in the air and things down would be rather small.Since Cappadocia is spread out wide,it makes it all the more interesting.Exchanging space with fellow travelers in your compartment makes you click your pictures in a better way. Halis was kind enough to take mine from time to time,whenever I felt confused on the angles with which I wanted to take so that me and balloons both come in background.
The flight is no less than a romantic fantasy,as we saw a couple celebrating a moment with kisses in the air.The teens were inquisitive but they kept quiet as they were busy capturing every moment in the cameras.The colors of the landscape subtly changes from sunrise to the time sun is fully out and hence even if the flight is for an hour,the scope of getting bored is ruled out with changes in landscape and environment,all in an hours time.It was kind of Halis to extend the flight by 20 minutes more on request by one of the teens.
Cappadocia Voyager Balloons:Tales From The Expert
We would soon be discussing in/out of Ballooning,quotes from interview with our Pilot Halis,how to pursue Ballooning as career,why you must go with Cappadocia Voyager Balloon,his highs and lows,Safety measures,Ballooning in winters in snow and the likes in the next post but here we discuss about the tits and bits of talks we had in the balloon.
Halis told us in 1998,there were two companies which did ballooning,flying over 1600 people in the whole year.
.....And we thought it was delicate
Today,alone,there were 2000 people who flew.The growth of ballooning has been exponential the reason being landscape and near perfect weather conditions.
While in Europe,it is considered fortunate if they flew for 60 mornings,
Even in Africa,Myanmar and Jordan,the maximum they can reach is 150 mornings,
but in Cappadocia,its more than 300 + / year,last year it was 328 mornings.
Even in winters,you could see 60-100 balloons in the air.Evening flights are not favored but sometimes during winters,it is.Last year it was 45 evenings they flew.
He randomly asked,if we would know how much the envelope would weigh,as it looks quite light-weighted.To his amusement one answer came quite close to 400 kgs which actually is 380 kgs.He told many people guess around 13-20 kgs and we all laughed.He also told us,that before we roll it to the trailer and when we put inside the bag,if there is still air left which generally is,we jump on it to take the air out.And we thought it was soft and delicate :)
As he instructed us to leave the basket after the flight,we slowly and slowly had our wine and our certificates on the field before we head back with loads of memories they'll last for quite a long long time.