Trip Start Sep 12, 2013
14Trip End Sep 29, 2013
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A mini buss picked us up at our hotel and took us into the main office to check in and enjoy some much needed coffee before we hopped into another mini bus that would take us to the departure area. As we rode through the dark fields out of town we knew we were approaching our destination when we could hear the roar of the burners blasting hot air into the balloons. We gathered as we watched our balloon slowly inflated and started to rise into the air. At last our ballon was full and we climbed into our basket. Our pilot Emrah then opened the burners and with a loud blast released a column of red hot flames into the center of the balloon
All around us we could see bursts of red flames as other balloons majestically made their way into the sky. Pops or red, orange, green would suddenly appear as the flames illuminated the balloons from the inside. As the sun began to rise into the morning sky, the iconic fairy chimney rock structures that have made the valley so famous came into view. Tall slender towers with oversized hats. Some isolated on their own, others in clusters. Many had signs of being a former dwelling. In addition to the natural scenery an equally enchanting sight was the sea of other balloons floating along the valley. After an hour of floating up and down we reached our landing spot, disembarked and toasted our flight with a glass of cherry juice and champagne.
The mini bus then took us back to our hotel where we has a light breakfast before heading out for our days adventures. Our first stop was the Zelve open air museum where were wandered through the valley and explored how the past civilizations lived among the rock walls of the valley side between the 9th and 13th centuries. Multiple story homes with kitchens, bedrooms and adjoining stables for the livestock. Churches, monasteries and of course wine rooms
From there we hiked to Pashabag were we wanded around, over and through the unique rock formations that have made the area famous. Three separate volcanic eruptions, each depositing a unique mixture of rocks and minerals laid the foundations for these magnificat structures. In time, rain and wind sculpted colourful valleys and rock formations that are straight out of a fairy tale.
After a quick lunch, we headed out for our last trek of the day, our goal was to walk through the Rose Valley (named so for the red layer of rock that forms the foundation of the valley) back to Goreme. With numerous starts and stops, and 3 useless maps at our disposal we spent the rest of the afternoon perpetually lost as we wandered through the valley never really sure whe we were. We eventually came across another set of hikers who pointed us in the direction of a main path we could take back to town.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was 5:30pm. We we were covered in sweat from the relentless sun than beat down on us. A layer of fine white dust stuck to our bodies from head to toe. Our feet were sore and blistered from crossing the uneven terrain. A long shower never felt so good.
Somewhat revived we headed of to a local resturant called Koy Eve for some Turkish fare called manti, or Turkish ravioli. Our stomachs full it was time to treat ourselves to some well earned rest.