Early mornings, rocks and hot air balloons

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Turkey  , Nevsehir,
Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Uhm... This might be a weird question..." Raphaela prepared the taxi driver for the questions the van Embdens and I have puzzled over for the last 2 minutes "...but are we in Europe or Asia?"

The taxi driver gave us a somewhat puzzled look and went on to hand out waterbottles instead. Luckily we spotted a map and Raphaela informed us that we were indeed in Asia. Cappadocia to be exact.

After standing up at some ungodly hour, blurrily getting on to a plane and then being ushered into a taxi for a one hour transfer to our hotel- it wasn't even 9:00am yet. None the less, we were immediately whisked away on a 7 hour tour. When our tour guide cheerily told us we chose the most tiring tour for day 1, a big sigh went through the crowd (by crowd I mean us 5 and a South Korean couple).

Essentially, we looked at rocks- all day long. But boy did these people know what to do with soft lava rocks. First up was an 8-storey underground city. While the whole tour group was walking through the low tunnels with a slightly bent head, I was nearly on my knees - much to the amusement of our tourguide. This coupled with our suicidal Koreans (who pretended to throw themselves down every deep hole, or crucify each other on rocks) made for an amusing underground experience.
Next we scrambled up to St. George's church, carved into the cliff of a canyon, which we all agreed was the most awesome church we'd ever been to. We got to embrace our inner African bush child as we scrambled up, down, across and beneath a rock monastery and obviously had to act out a starwars lightsaver fight, because this was the set for a starwars scene.

As if 5:00am the previous morning hadn't been enough, we had to crawl out of bed at 3:45am. Now you might ask yourself, what in the world might be worth THAT?! Well, ladies and gentlemen, a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. All 16 of us basket dwellers fell silent as we rose higher and higher, together with about 30 other balloons. This was topped with a glass of champagne as we landed, which left everyone going home with goofy dazed smiles plastered on their faces. And we hadn't even had breakfast yet!
Ahead of us was another tour, in which we ohhhed and ahhhed at more Fairy chimneys (rocks- I know, I was confused too) and, well, more rocks.

Absolutely finished, we flew back the same night (note the 19 hour day - Sargent Stanley strikes again), not wanting to leave this mesmerizing place in the middle of Asian nowhere. Who would've thought?

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Ulf Hitzeroth on

What an amazing trip and scenery. I'm all jealousy.

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