Turkey is a mix of cultures - Europe and Asian, but geographically it's also right at the centre. It's a great place to travel to - it has attractions for every kind of traveler. But this post is for Capadoccia, and for the delightful hot-air balloon ride I got to experience.
We flew from Istanbul to Capadoccia on Friday evening in midst of summer 2015, and it's a little airport that you land in - you need to get down the plane on the run-way, and walk to the terminal.
Our hotel folks picked us up from the airport, and when we arrived at the hotel - it looked quite interesting from the outside.
My room at the Attaturk House hotel was fairly decent, and after arriving - we quickly left to grab some dinner. We ate at a nearby place called One Way Cafe, that looked very laid-back and more like a shack. The food was good, and it was Turkey, so of course we tried some hookah.
We ended the day early, as our ride was early morning the next day.
We got picked up at around 4 am from the hotel the next day, and around 5 am we arrived near the outskirts - where we paid for the ride (around 150 euros), and got some hot tea to drink. Soon, we headed to the place where all the hot-air balloons were getting ready, and got our first glimpse of the balloon we were going to ride.
I did not expect it to be so huge! Anyway, our operator gave us some safety instructions - and off we went. The ride started tamely enough.
But soon we started getting higher and witnessing the sunrise. It was turning more and more beautiful by the moment.
I do not think words can do enough justice to the scene we were witnessing. Seeing so many hot-air balloons on the sky above such a beautiful landscape was breath-taking.
There's also this video that I captured during the ride -
And soon enough, the sun popped out - as was expected. It was magical.
You will certainly be overwhelmed and humbled. Be prepared to feel tiny and insignificant as well as you see the grandeur unfolding in front of you.
The rugged landscape of the land below adds to the magical effect. I'm certain I'm falling short of words to describe this moment.
Bottomline, if you could only do one hot-air balloon experience in your life-time, this should be it. It's worth every single penny (and more), and there's also free champagne at the end.
So, what do you do after the ride in this small town? Well, our flight back to Istanbul was not until later in the evening, so we rented scooters (you can also rent ATV's and bikes) and went around exploring the town.
There's some very interesting landscapes we got to see ..
.. and some pretty lakes as well.
Some more panorama shots - in between the scooter ride - somewhere in between the towns ..
.. and more panorama shots (if you still needed a reason to go there).
Sorry for lack of detail on these places, we didn't stop long enough to explore - as we were short of time. I did realize though, Capadoccia has enough attractions for an average visitor to spend at-least a few days to a week (and certainly more if interested).
I'm sure I'll certainly go back.
Oh, almost forgot - went to a nice little restaurant called Kale Terrasse for lunch - it was authentic Turkish and very enjoyable. There are also small stores all over the town - where you can pick up some souvenirs for back home.
All in all, great place!