Your stay in Cappadocia wouldn’t be complete without going up on a hot air balloon. It sounds like an overstatement, but there is something about Cappadocia that can only be experienced through a panorama view. For me, hot air balloon flight was at the top of the list of activities to do in Cappadocia. And it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, to flew at about 2,800 feet above ground level and feel the fresh air of Cappadocia was an epitome of Freedom! It was one of those moments that made me quote the Pursuit of happiness; “This part of my life, this little part, is called Happiness”. I had a rewarding hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia and now all that’s left are memories. And good memories are meant to be shared!
The only exciting Email notification of the year
One day earlier on the balloon flight, I received an email from my balloon ride company. I have never been this excited to open an email, “You have a sunrise balloon flight and we wanted to know what room you are staying”, I was ecstatic. I booked my flight reservation months earlier and I was a little bit worried that it might be canceled. So when I received the email, it wasn’t the regular I’ll check it later attitude, It holds my record for the fastest email read of the year. If it wasn’t for the hotel that I was staying(very quite), I would have screamed YES! to the top of my lungs.
Meeting excited tourists at 5:30 am in the morning – weird!
The flight company picked me up from my hotel at around 5:05 Am and we were taken to a place(probably companies headquarter), where we had breakfast and assigned a pilot. It was a little bit weird for me to wake up at 5:00 Am and go to a gathering, but everyone was excited & full of energy. Some were even smoking a cigarette, while I was having a hard time to finish my breakfast – it was too early for me to use my senses.
Balancing the balloon & the most important landing position
After breakfast, we all went along with the pilot assigned to us. When we arrived at the launch site, some hot air balloons were taking off and the liquid propane gas they use to heat the air of the balloon was the only light source around the site along with the moon.
I was in a 16 person, 1-hour sunrise hot air balloon flight and I was having difficulties to step inside the basket of the hot air balloon basket and it wasn’t because I have a fear of heights. The propane gas fuel was so hot that I was feeling mild pain in my head – possibly due to my hair transplant in Istanbul days before. Withall that I was able to climb up the basket and took a corner stand, but I was not lucky this time – the balloon flight crew told me that the balloon needs to be balanced & I had to get off, climb up again to another side of the balloon. It wasn’t an ideal situation for me, but at least I stood on a corner where the hot air coming from the propane gas ignition was minimum. After that, our pilot explained the safety precautions and stressed on the all-important landing position – crouch down in the seated position & grab one of the basket handles. The pilot added that the hot air balloon can’t be steered in the traditional sense & he can only be able to float in the direction the wind takes him – for me it added a thrill to the adventure!
Landing and Champagne Ceremony
I believe our pilot oversell the landing position or our flight was the perfect one, the hot air balloon got to the ground with a soft & smooth landing. When we were preparing for landing the flight crew on the ground were driving a loading car for the hot air balloon basket, they guided the balloon to the dock & invited all of us to participate in a game of folding envelope(fabric) of the balloon. After that, we had a champagne ceremony – no champagne for me though I had to drink a juice in a champagne glass.
Got a Medal for all of my hard work & dedication – Rewarding Balloon flight!
Cappadocia had been on my travel bucket list for about 3 years and I had been working hard to get the plan right. The good think about planing is that you can actually see opportunities that would otherwise be left unnoticed. At the same time, I was working on my plan to get a hair transplant in Turkey and Cappadocia made it a perfect plan. And “I love it when a plan comes together!”
I knew there were some balloon flight companies who offer a medal after the Campagna ceremony but didn’t expect any from my flight. And when the flight crew mentioned that all of us will be having a Medal, I was ecstatic. I took it as a direct message from the Universe, “Kid there is a plan for everything! And yours was perfect & the Medal is your reward.”
I had a perfect & rewarding hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia. I would even do it again if I have the chance, you can fly on a hot air balloon anywhere in the world, but I doubt it could be this beautiful! Maybe my view might change after some travel destinations, but for the time being Cappadocia sets the bar for the most amazing hot air balloon flight experience.
I hope you can get the chance to visit Cappadocia and go on hot air balloon ride someday. If you already have a plan, I can say in confidence that Cappadocia is worth it, I say get your plan right and do it. My 4 days in Cappadocia were peaceful and I felt unimaginable Freedom throughout my stay. Cappadocia is simply beautiful!