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Loco for Lokum: on assignment inTurkey The lowdown on winning the 2011 World Nomads/Rough Guides Scholarship...

Hot Air Ballooning Over Cappadocia

TURKEY | Saturday, 11 June 2011 | Views [2324]


Hot air balloons have always held a somewhat magical fascination for me.  As a child, I remember running across the fields to watch hot air balloons land in the British countryside and marveling at the enormity of the rainbow-colored domes as they collapsed and crumpled on the grass. Even the idea of it – swinging in a basket from a giant balloon – seemed simultaneously preposterous and alluringly unique. It’s the kind of idea that might have featured in Roald Dahl novel – a childish fantasy put into action.


So, odd as it may seem, this is something of a lifetime ambition, hopping into a giant basket and floating up into the sky and I’m giddy with excitement as we clamber into the basket and watch the ground slowly move away from us.


Hot air ballooning is a surprisingly smooth experience, the feeling of being feather light and floating gently above the ground. There are surely few places better suited to the panoramic view than the Cappadocian valleys. These are landscapes that cut through even the groggiest of eyes (thanks to our 3.45am wake up call) and appear like whipped meringue peaks rising beneath us. We spin slowly in the basket, soar over the hilltops and land with a soft thud in a crop field. I wander back to the van with a dizzy excitement fizzing away in my stomach – hot air ballooning, it turns out, is every bit as enchanting as I’d hoped.



Tags: cappadocia, fairy chimneys, hot air ballooning, sunrise, travel writing scholarship, trekking, turkey

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