These sculptures, more commonly known as “Fairy Chimneys”, are located in the Göreme National Park, which has gained enough recognition to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
During my trip in October 2015, I was really lucky on the 2nd day before leaving Cappadocia to have embarked on the most unforgettable ride of my lifetime, as receiving this opportunity is strictly dependent on the weather for that particular day.
Upon reaching, we were first greeted with a welcome breakfast at a hut that consisted of various quick bites such as pastries and a cup of coffee or tea to keep ourselves warm & refreshed before the ride!
In the meantime, the balloon flight crew were already getting prepared with all the necessary equipment to inflate the balloon and prepare a safety check to determine if the weather would be fit for flying.
We were all here for a common purpose, to see a birds’ eye overview of the entire scenery as what is being famously featured around the world!
Up ‘till then, nobody was certain if it would be a guarantee take-off or not, as it is really all dependent on luck.
We were surrounded by the sight of the gigantic and magnificent “Fairy Chimneys”, literally forcing us to voluntarily take out our camera to get a photo of the legendary sight!
Upon reaching, the whole compound was filled with numerous numbers of balloon companies, wherein each is differentiated by their company logo printed on the balloon itself, making it easier to distinctly recognise one another.
Indeed, we have eagerly long-awaited this moment, ever since we had signed up for this tour package to Turkey and especially due to having received the dreaded piece of bad news of the undesirable weather conditions yesterday. We were and still are really thankful for this blessing from God.
These gigantic balloons were installed with numerous burner units right in the center, just above the large basket which consists of a maximum capacity of 16 passengers per flight.
We hopped into the basket supported by some steps on each side & were quick to realise that the inner layer of the basket was indeed deep in height, approximately to the level of our abdomens.
After having ensured that the path of traffic was clear to go, the pilot pulled down the burner switch by giving it a squeeze which literally causes the burner to burn even more as an open flame of hot air, allowing our balloon to take off.
The balloon started rising higher and higher off the ground, and there was actually not much of a feeling except when one bent over to look down or to look across the cloud-filled skies.
The view up here was indeed spectacular as the mountain and land looked so miniature, reminiscent of the feeling of looking out from a window seat of a plane but without its confined walls.
Thereafter, the pilot allowed us to catch a better glimpse of the entire Göreme National Park along with the iconic “Fairy Chimneys” located everywhere over the hills by taking a descent.
The sight of all the other balloons high above the sky along with the background landscape of the park, fused with myriads of colours, brought a sense of happiness & freedom.
We then got out of the basket to savour, over a glass of champagne, the beautiful vineyards under the sun.
Everyone’s faces were filled with joyful satisfaction, really making the pilot’s day, and it was definitely one of those special rare days for me to get to see so many radiant smiles!
Indeed, it is definitely a day that I will remember for life, as up ‘till now, it still feels so surreal with the whole experience that I can still remember it in vivid detail today!
Hot-air-balloon ride, we have conquered it! XOXO.
For my trip, we embarked on a trip with KAPADOKYA KAYA BALLOONS which costs USD $220 per person, making it rather expensive!
Taking in account the scenery & especially the safety means of the balloon company, the whole ride was really safe & is well-worth the money, especially with the scenery! Definitely, not to miss out on when you are over here in Cappadocia, Turkey! 🙂