“The best way of travel, however, if you aren’t in any hurry at all, if you don’t care where you are going, if you don’t like to use your legs, if you don’t want to be annoyed at all by any choice of directions, is in a balloon. In a balloon, you can decide only when to start, and usually when to stop. The rest is left entirely to nature.”
To see Cappadocia from the ground is magical, but to see it from above is one of the most incredible experiences. The curvy rock flows like giant waves, as the sun warms the sky in a palette of pinks and oranges that cast playful shadows in the furrows of the rock below. The entire scene plays out as some other-worldly geological masterpiece that makes you feel like you are floating above an undiscovered planet. Cappadocia literally swept me up, up + away.
I once saw a photo of hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey (pronounced kap-ah-doe-KEE-ah) on one of those “100 places you must see before you die” lists. The sensuous landscape was so different than anything I’d ever seen, and I became set on visiting. The day itself started at the crack of dawn. I sluggishly pilled on the few layers I had and emerged from the cave we slept in (yup, a cave!) at Hezen Cave Hotel. When we arrived at Royal Ballon they told us it was supposed to be a perfect morning for hot air ballooning.
Each balloon rose into the sky silently, except for the occasional whoosh of flame. It was beautiful; all these bright round specks coloring the horizon. I’ve been skydiving a few times, and each time I felt like it’s the closest I’ll get to knowing what it feels like to fly. As we rose into the sky, slowly and seemingly weightlessly, it felt like the balloon was standing still. It was smooth, and quiet, there was no wild air, just calm. I could have stayed like that forever, rising and floating above the oddly shaped rocks in competition with the rising sun. The few people that initially looked like they might pass out now had awe in their eyes instead of panic. They seemed like they were feeling the same sense of contentment and peace as me. We were flying!
It all ended with mimosas, and who wouldn’t want to start the day with bubbly at 7:00 am?!
Thank you, Royal Balloons!