Sunrise ballooning and St. George and the Dragon

A freezing cold 5 am start for some amazing views!
Armed with thermals, beanies,gloves and several pairs of socks each we braved a Cappadocian morning for what we were told to be one of the most amazing experiences in Turkey, a hot air balloon flight at sunrise in Cappadocia.
It. Was. Awesome.
At first we were slight apprehensive not because we were afraid of heights but because we were scared of being scared of them and having to stand in the basket uncomfortable for an hour. We were also we concerned about the weather for visibility reasons and for our flight path too as the pilots have absolutely not control over direction. All they can do is ascend, descend and rotate.
I think we can all agree how spectacular it was and how lucky we were with the weather. The view of the fairy caves, of the Rose and Love Valleys and of the agricultural lands and mountains was jaw dropping as was the weather, sunny and actually rather warm up higher. The feeling in the balloon was incredible from take off to landing everything was smooth and so relaxed. We also had the bonus of a great pilot, Levent, who liked to make jokes which we thought were hilarious but didn’t impress the Spanish group too much. He asked if it was everyone’s first time flying before we took off and when everyone said he yes he was like “oh cool, this is my second”. Top bloke.
When we landed we had champagne and were all presented with certificates. We had to fill them in ourselves but it seems as though mum and Jordy went flying earlier than us because they’d written down the 4th not the 5th!
The certificates of another family were pretty funny too. The 10 year old son had been given the job of writing his, his sister’s and his parents’ certificate out and for his parents he’d just written ‘Mom and Dad’, pretty cute.
We whipped back to the hotel for brekky and then hit the trails for the Open air museum on the top of the hill just outside Göreme.
The museum was of all the old fairy cave houses and in ground houses built in the 11th century while Turkey was still a Christian country with Constantinople being the pope’s residence for a number of years. The city was full of churches (they’re seemed to be enough for one per resident!) all painted with frescos depicting the life of Christ. May of them too had paintings of St. George and the dragon, a popular story there which we’re pretty cool.
Annoyingly I’m captain coldsore at the moment or as Jordy likes to call me, Lana Del Rae so to get some vitamin C I bought the most amazing freshly squeezed pomegranate and orange juice. Of course dad wasn’t happy because later that day we found a cafe that was making it for 6 lira rather than 9 which was bad enough but then I bought 11 postcards for 1 lira and later found a shop that offered 12 for 1- ripped off! I suppose it pays to shop around! 🙂
However I bargained a guy down at a stall and got 10 lira off a camel leather and carpet bag so all’s well that end’s well!
Mum was super keen to buy a carpet in Turkey and had read about a very famous shop in Göreme and managed to drag dad along to look. Jordy and I kept looking at stalls and then half an hour later met up with them only to find two dozen carpets strewn across the floor, a decent number of empty çay cups and dad telling the store owner his price range was about 800 hundred to 2000 dollars. Well I think Jordy and I just about fainted! Who was this man and what had he done with our father!
No joke 2 hours later we’d gotten down to 6 carpets that we couldn’t decide from. Some with amazing patterns, some with incredible colors and others really interesting because of their long history where young women had made them to form part of their dowry years and years ago. Mum and dad are heading back tomorrow to make an executive decision.
For dinner we just had hummus and bread bought from a nearby restaurant mixed with a selection of Turkish treats mum and I bought earlier with Yasin back at the hotel.We had some baklava which was better than yesterday’s but the pastry wasn’t awesome thought the filling was. It wasn’t traditional though, a local women makes it as a cross between Turkish delight and baklava.

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3 Comments

Filed under 2012, Ankara to Athens, Gallery

3 responses to “Sunrise ballooning and St. George and the Dragon

  1. Jen

    It just gets better and better! I’m worried about Mike and the carpets tho’! I had a similar experience in Morocco – hard to escape without coughing up significant dollars! Wonderful!

  2. The top carpet photo shows it. The wheat pattern is the Kilim and the other is one of the set

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