Archive

Unforgettable Cappadocia

Beautiful scenery of Cappadocia

Beautiful scenery of Cappadocia

Cappadocia gave me the most thrilling but yet exciting experience ever happened in my life so far : riding Hot Air Balloon!

Flying on plane has been my hobby, well could be said my travel need. I’ve been hearing from my friends that if I were to travel to Turkey, riding an hot air balloon is an unforgettable experience that not to be missed. So, hot air balloon? Here we go!

Once you book your hot air balloon, the crew will provide a pick up service to the takeoff site at the hotel before dawn. While waiting for the hot air balloon to be ready, small breakfast such as biscuits, bread and warm tea or coffee are served. Then, the van will bring us to the take off site. Here you will see the crew busy flaming up the balloon, not to burn, but to fill up the balloon with heated air so it can fly.

Filling up the balloon so it can fly

Filling up the balloon with heated air before flying

One by one, hot air balloon are set to take off

One by one, hot air balloon are set to take off

Cappadocia balloon flights is getting more popular every year. Of course, perfect weather conditions is required. The best time for the fly is from April-October. If your balloon company cancels your flight because of unsafe conditions, don’t be upset because safety will always go first. The pilots are skilled and experienced too, certified to fly the balloons.

The ride took about 1 hour and you will be able to watch the sunrise from the balloon. The views from the top are breathtaking. People who enjoy photography like me, please bring extra memory card because you are going to shoot hundreds or even thousands. I took around 800 shoots just from the ride alone. 

Ms. Sunrise shyly wakes up.

Say hello to Ms. Sunrise who is shyly waking up

View from 900m above the land, the max height of the day

View from 900m above the land, the max height of the day

The most important part from riding the balloon are the landing moment. The pilot will teach the passengers the correct landing position. This is important for the safe-landing.

Once done, the crew will pick us up where we landed. We will be awarded by certificate to acknowledge the experience of riding hot air balloon. Then, take a sip a traditional champagne toast to a successful aeronautical adventure.

Once you reach Cappadocia, you will be welcomed by vast field and stone mountains. Many of them have holes carved on. Approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, these stones eroded because of the eruption of ancient volcanoes, into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms.

goreme0

Goreme Open Air Museum or in Turkish “Göreme Açikhava Müzesi”, is one of the most important towns and destinations in Cappadocia. This outdoor museum which listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage, contains the remains of many churches carved into the stones.

goreme

There are many churches and chapels here but the most important ones are: Nunnery, St. Barbara Church, Apple Church, Snake Church, Sandals Church, Buckle Church and Dark Church (you need to pay an extra 8 TL to enter). I only visited 3 of them:

  • St. Barbara Church which the walls and the dome are painted with motifs in red including geometrical patterns, mythological animals and military symbols,
  • Apple Church that shows scenes from the Bible and the life of Christ, the Hospitality of Abraham and Three Hebrew Youth,
  • Snake Church that shows Christ with a book in his hand, and images of Emperor Constantine and Helena. Next to it, there is St. Theodore and St. George killing the Snake.

goreme2

goreme3

The carving as seen on the stone wall

What amazing about the caves is the ways and means in which people of the 11th century used to live. Everything showed that there was a very sophisticated civilisation. Much of the rock in the area is sandstone (tufa) which is fairly soft, and for centuries rooms (and houses) have been created by cutting directly into the soft rock. Many of the caves on the stones are transformed as hostels and hotels and offer the tourists the unusual experience of sleeping in a cave.

%d bloggers like this: