By Syeda Amtul
Turkey’s Cappadocia is famous for its hot air balloon rides and fairy chimneys (rock formations), but these experiences are not the only way to discover this part of Anatolia.
This geographical wonderland has immense charm, and is home to many hot air balloon businesses providing arial tours of the valleys and fairy chimneys.
Volcanic eruptions and the associated lava flows, as well as wind and rain created and sculpted these chimneys, sinuous valleys, and curvy cliff faces.
Many Ballooning companies can have you floating high above the beautiful valleys for a visual lesson in the slow process of erosion that has molded this region of Turkey.
When we reach our cave hotel (caves and mountains have been beautifully modified into hotels) my kids were extremely excited.
The Flintstones Cave Hotel provided a great theme of the Stone Age. From beds made out of stone, to rocky ceilings making the air inside naturally cool, very much like the old cartoon “The Flintstones”.
It was thrill for them to be a part of their favorite cartoon’s lifestyle, and their experience of living in a cave made them feel like they were in a whole new world.
Early the next morning, around 4:30 am, we arrived at the launching point for the hot air balloon, had breakfast there, and with a hot cup of coffee we saw the 100-foot tall hot air balloon inflated before boarding the balloon’s basket.
First we floated low above the landscape and felt the subtle motion of the balloon as it lifted up over the stunning volcanic landscape.
The sunrise over mountains in the distance was the most beautiful sunrise of my life and the moment became an unforgettable experience, especially with all the vibrant hot air balloons in the sky.
We spent another half an hour passing many valleys and fairy chimneys. It was pretty amazing to see a sky full of hot air balloons while at the same time beautiful historical landscapes below us.
Everyone enjoyed a champagne breakfast after the flight and received their flight certificates while watching the rest of the balloons soar through the sky. If anyone wishes to take a once in a lifetime hot air balloon ride, there’s only one place on earth to do so: Cappadocia.
Your balloon ride gives you a close look at the rock and geological formations.
You can see churches and houses carved into the rocks as the balloon climbs high, and then when you land back on earth after the ride, you can pull on hiking boots and stride into the valleys.
Cappadocia is a place of both cultural history and natural wonder.