IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

Goerme Balloons Cappadocia Turkey

Goerme BalloonsSix o’clock in the morning—what a great time to be outdoors in the brisk air, one thousand feet above the earth, floating quietly above the Cappadocian moonscape in a hot air balloon!  This is a trip that not only makes you come alive, but gives you something to talk about and re-live for days and months afterwards.  A trip on one of the magical Goreme Balloons over the spectacular land of fairy chimneys, historical cave dwellings, ancient rock churches and secret hideaways will live long in your memory as one of your most cherished adventures.

Our morning began with the prompt arrival of our transportation van that Goreme Balloons sends to your hotel.  (Their company vehicle will also return you to your hotel once you’ve safely landed after your balloon excursion.)  We were driven just a few kilometers outside of town to a large, open field staging area where tables were spread out offering us hot beverages and morning snack food items.  As we warmed ourselves with hot tea and biscuits, the crew laid out the balloons and began firing up the colorful inflatable aircraft that would soon whisk us high above terra firma.  Some forty people were gathered here, ready to climb aboard wicker baskets, each designed to carry twenty-one persons and a pilot.

Our experienced pilot, Suat (pronounced “swat”), assured us that he had flown hot-air balloons all over the world, including the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival, to which his bright red jacket attested.  I think half the enjoyment of our trip came from Suat’s comedic commentary and his repeated attempts to get everyone on board involved in conversation.  Twenty-one of us climbed over the side of the basket to stand shoulder to shoulder for a little over an hour in rapt delight—Japanese, Russians, Indians, and the three of us Americans—all snapping photos of the sights below in rapid fire succession.  (I took over 100 pictures on my digital camera and my son took more than that on his!)  This was our first hot-air balloon trip and it could not have been in a more beautiful setting.

In my lifetime I have been privileged to gaze at hot-air balloons in Napa Valley, California, gliding effortlessly above the world-famous vineyards below.  I’ve also lived in a Southern Oregon town which had an annual hot-air balloon festival that attracted a dozen or more entrants.  We have scores of photos and video shots of hot-air balloons dipping deliberately into the Rogue River for a brief instant before popping out again, cascading water from the bottom of the basket.  For years hot air balloons landed on the vacant lot next to my home!  I have also visited Albuquerque and witnessed some of this city’s spectacular aircraft hovering high over the arid New Mexico desert.  And though I haven’t viewed the balloons that drift over the French wine country in Provence, I could not imagine a more spectacular or memorable way to take a hot-air balloon ride than to hop aboard a Goreme Balloon in unforgettable Cappadocia, Turkey.  What a fantastic landscape, offering endless vistas of conical spires, picturesque cavernous hillsides and magical fairy hideaways!  We spent 17 days visiting many of the highlights of ancient and modern Turkey, but this day was truly at the top of our list for the sheer excitement and pleasure of soaring above a fantasy land that defies description.

After more than an hour of gasping and gawking and pointing and giggling at the sights beneath and around us, we began our gradual descent to a vacant field below where the company pursuit vehicles awaited our soft landing.  Although Suat laughingly told us that he could not control the distance we would travel from our point of origin (“I can only make this thing go up and down”) he nevertheless brought down our vessel gently near the passenger vans that gathered just a few hundred feet below.  The entire trip was smooth, incredibly quiet—except for the occasional blasts of fire and hot air he shot up at the balloon tied above us—and amazingly invigorating.  Throughout our flight our fellow passengers chatted comfortably with their friends and partners, snapping photos in Goerme Balloonsbetween moments of pointing and lining up their next pictures.

Once again tables had been set up awaiting our arrival, this time laden with bottles of chilled champagne and long-stem glasses.  Once the corks had popped we enjoyed the traditional champagne celebration, toasting our successful flight and the continuation of what was now a glorious day.  Then, one by one, Suat called out the names of each passenger, ceremoniously handing him or her a signed commemorative flight certificate, certifying that each of us had participated in a Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia, Turkey.  We toasted our accomplishment and laughed and joked some more, trying to hold on just a little longer, to this moment that was soon to be just a memory.  But, oh, what a memory!

Goreme Balloons offers full passenger and third party liability insurance up to €1,000,000.  Only experienced local and international pilots are permitted to fly the aircraft.  There are special rates for children.  Goreme Balloons is housed in a  7000 m complex with all ballooning departments, offices, indoor and outdoor storages, maintenance units, guesthouses…etc. This complex is named as the largest balloon complex in the world to date.

 

Goreme Balloons
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Flights

Sanayi Caddesi

Koyunyolu mevkii

No:1 50400 Urgup/Nevsehir/Turkey

Suat ULUSOY
Balloon Pilot & PR Director
Member of BFA (Balloon Federation of America)

Phone : +90 384 341 5662
Fax : +90 384 341 7245
E-Mail : info@goremeballoons.com

Cell: +90.532. 416 64 61
Website:  www.goremeballoons.com

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