A few months ago we visited Cappadocia with the idea of flying, and although we couldn’t go on the balloon fly due to weather conditions (the best time to do it is during the summer), we enjoyed many other activities then. In this second trip, we had more luck.
The decision of coming back
It was on our minds going back to Cappadocia and try to see it from the sky, winter is coming and it will get harder and harder to fly as the wind gets stronger; and during the summer temperatures rise to 40ºC making it very difficult to do anything else in the area. So before buying any flight ticket or accommodation we called to “make sure” we could fly. We had a 95% chances of flying, so we just went. And this time, we chose a hostel close to the town center that also offered us many deals (amongst them the balloon fly).
We got up early without a hustle, warm clothes on and sleepily we headed with a dozen other tourists to the offices of Kapadokya Balloons looking for some breakfast and basic instructions before heading to the take-off area.
We arrived at the takeoff track and found many other balloons and early risers tourists waiting like us. Found our balloon and our pilot, Recep, and waited for the balloon to stand before jumping into the basket.
Excited we barely felt the takeoff, a balloon flight is smoother than what we could think. We only noticed that we were no longer on the ground, and we were rising… We crossed the first row of mountains, other balloons were already in the sky and some more were still on the ground.
Cappadocia is beautiful, but from the sky and at sunrise it is just magical. You can see sights that would go unnoticed on foot, the luxuriance of the valleys (there are so many valleys!), how far the rock formations go, Göreme from the sky, Uçhisar castle, Open Air Museum…
And all of a sudden that incredible ball of fire that peeks over the horizon, it is the sun, in an intense red that reflects over the clear mountains of Cappadocia. Suddenly we noticed how fast other balloons descend, at a rapid pace, but nobody seems to be scared so probably our balloon, and us in it, are doing the same even if we don’t feel it.
And now, we make a noticeable descent and fly low over a hotel, the horses run around freely, and is that the name of Cappadocia means in Greek “place of beautiful horses”. And we rise again up to 1300 meters. This is the end of our ride, now it is time to land. We need to squat for it in the baskets, but the landing is also smooth. Now it is time to take pictures, something to eat and back to the hostel.
Besides strolling and getting lost around Göreme, trying foods and restaurants (we had dinner at Topdeck Cave Restuarant, a small, charming and delicious family restaurant), we wanted to to do something else. Since we visited Esfahan we wanted to ride bikes again so in this peculiar sight we decided to spend a day on two wheels. We went back to Çavuşin church and headed to the Love Valley once more. This time, we heard a different version of how these rocks were made:
“Long time ago, two families who hated each other lived in this area. However, the son of one of the families and the daughter of the other family fell in love. The came to the valley, they made love and these insinuating rock formations were made. But the youngster died to preserve their love” (the “Turkish” version of Romeo and Juliet?)
We rested at the panoramic view stop, as the sun was unstoppable and the heat made some parts of our ride a bit difficult.
After the biking day, it was time to rest and get ready for our trip back to Istanbul after a relaxing but full of excitement weekend.
Costs (September 2016):
Flight Istanbul-Nevşehir (2 people): 120€
Transfer airport-Göreme (per person): 6€
Accommodation (per night for 2 people): 18€
Balloon flight (per person): 90€
Bike rent (full day per person): 7’5€
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