Balloon watching

My hotel is close to the top of the hill in Goreme. A short walk uphill (and a small “admission” charge) is the place to be for sunsets and to watch the balloons fly in the morning.

Today I wake up before sunrise and walk up the hill to catch the balloons. I think I am too early because I have to wait a while for the balloons to rise. I do get a picture of the sun starting to rise through.

Off in the instance I can see some balloons inflating. A short while later they are in the air.

It is beautiful to see.

Some get very close to the observation hill. At times it looks like they can be touched.

Here is a fun video showing how close they got.

My Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

A thing one does while in Cappadocia is take a hot air balloon ride. In fact so many people do this that up to 150 balloons float every morning in the Cappadocia sky (weather permitting). For this I did my research and learned it was best to book ahead of time since the rides are so popular. A highly rated one is Butterfly Balloons.

They picked me up very early in the morning and took me to their office to settle up my balance and eat breakfast; well me and about 100 other people. They have a good amount of balloons in their fleet.

All balloons need a permit and they are limited to 150 a day. 150 is still many balloons and you can see all of them in the amazing skyline when they fly.

We are signed up for a sunrise ride but I think you can choose a later ride in the morning. I am in a van with around 19 other people who will be riding in the balloon with me (not counting the operator). There are balloons with smaller capacity and larger capacity and the price and experience will vary with your choice.

I think the price to experience ration was just about right with 20. I would have loved to have less people but it was already pretty expensive so it is ok to be a little uncomfortable to not break the bank too much.

When we get to the lift off site it is still dark and balloons everywhere are being inflated.

Once our balloon is upright we climb in and are given safety instructions.

Soon we are up up and away.

After some time going up and down we start our descent.

After we disembark we have a champagne toast to celebrate. We are presented with a medal and a certificate for participating.

And with a fun group photo we call it a morning.