My Hot Air Balloon Tour: The anticipation!

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 8  (dawn)                 

Temperature:   7 degrees
Weather:   dawn – grey sky                   

 "It looks like it might rain" I sadly told Michel while staring way up above me at the very dark sky where no stars shone.  The moon hid behind the black clouds while the gusty wind slapped my face occasionally but I still hoped for a change in the weather as I rapidly stepped back inside the warmth and coziness of the hotel.  After all, it was only 4:00am.

Michel and I were the only ones waiting patiently in the hotel's front lounge this early in the morning.  No noise could be heard except our voices as we spoke quite low not wanting to be noticed.  In the background, the loud steps of the security guard could be heard as he did his rounds.  Other than that, we were in semi-darkness with only a few lamps on.  Kind of spooky in a way!

Eventually, three unknown couples from other tour groups appeared giving me relief in a way; we weren’t the only crazy ones to be adventuring out this early in the morning, and for good reasons!  We were all going on a “Hot Air Balloon Tour”!

Twenty minutes late, our transportation eventually showed up alleviating my fears that my little escapade of this morning would be cancelled due to weather conditions.  There was still hope after all!  Along the way, two more stops were made at different hotels to pick-up other people.  The city was very much asleep; the houses were in total darkness and hardly any cars were seen on the streets.
We were driven to a small building near the hot air balloon launch site where a warm fire and a Turkish style breakfast welcomed us in.  Both were highly appreciated.   It was now 5:15am and I was wide awake no longer feeling the festivities of the previous night.

While the weather condition was being monitored by the experienced pilots, suspense could be felt in the room due to the uncertainty of us flying this early in the morning at the crack of dawn.  So, while we all waited patiently, I sat right next to the wood burning fireplace feeling in heaven with its warmth….and not in hell as Michel commented….while he ate some muffins and drank Turkish tea!  Much to everyone’s relief and delight, the go ahead was finally given; the weather had changed for the best and no rain was in the forecast!  We all cheered with joy!

It was 6:00am when we arrived at the launch site, a mere ten minutes ride from where we were.  The crew had already begun the balloon inflation process; these balloons looked absolutely gorgeous with their yellow, orange, red and blue colors.  There were four in total.   

From where I stood right next to these humongous balloons, excited, you bet I was as I watched them blow up and then, little by little rise to their wonderful round shape.   They were huge; I felt dwarfed by their presences.  We were placed in groups of 18 in which afterwards, one by one we escaladed into the huge baskets!   And then….. my Hot Air Balloon Tour began as I went up, up, and awayyyyyyyyyy.........!

Monique   :-)
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