Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 05, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel Lazalar

Flag of Turkey  ,
Sunday, April 13, 2008

It was a bit of a struggle to get up today - Gem's phone received a text and I thought it was the doorbell so I fully woke up and got out of bed and almost got ready to leave...!   A few hours later it was time to get up for real as those who were doing the hot air ballooning got picked up by the company... We stopped at their office for tea and bikkies and to see if the conditions were ok to go flying.    They were a bit unsure and kept letting off little balloons to see what they would do.    We eventually took off and stopped in one area (no good) then made our way to the valley floor in front of the red valley.    The other companies were letting down their balloons so we didn't hold out much hope of getting up there but luck was on our side and the wind held off and we were up and away just after 7.30am.   
It was amazing and everything i expected and more... We went really high and then so low you could almost lean out of the basket and touched the cliffs... We could see the pigeon holes cut into the rock wall (they collected their poo) and also where people lived.   Erosion and the elements have created a glorious landscape.   I took a few videos and many many many pics... We flew up and over the red cliffs, over the power lines and got into the landing position... 3 bumps later we were down and out of the basket and celebrating with champagne and cake.! 
The support crew located us and drove us back to the hotel where we told the others how fantastic it was (the group who were to fly longer than us didn't make it off the ground).   After brekky it was walking time and we started in the White Valley... We made our way down the path (some points really sliding down) and were rewarded with pretty special views.   The cliffs looked like honeycomb and the flowers were in bloom - combine that with a blue sky and it was excellent!   Some cliffs looked like mushroom houses (reminded me of a smurf home).... We came to Schlong Valley and all had a little giggle -- they were lined up like soldiers in the background...   Out of the valley we made our way back into Goreme for a traditional Turkish meal - I had the vegie guvee (like a hot pot) and it was great!   We continued on to a local pottery place to see how its made. The man explaining to us how things were done had nick-named the potterist "Harry Potter" and he was the best looking turkish man i have seen all trip...I could barely concentrate..! hahaha..
We continued onto Pigeon Valley - pretty much where we flew over in the balloon this morning... lots and lots of pigeon holes for poop collection (once a year they collected it)... The colours of the rocks were sometimes a bright yellow or an off pink - you could be there all day and it would look different each hour...
Next stop was a visit to our leaders home town of Urgup... we had an ice cream and made a visit to his Uncles shop (jewellry and knick knacks).  I bought some dervish men dancing on a strip of paper... Our last stop of the day was a quick visit into a local winery.   I'm not convinced on Turkish wine yet -- we are so spoilt in Australia...
Back at the hotel i had a night off from the group to catch up on things and to chill out and it had been a long exhausting day!
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