Over and Under {Cappadocia Day 2}

We woke up EARLY this morning to have another amazing experience in this beautiful land. We dragged ourselves out of bed before the crack of dawn first-call-to-prayer for nothing less than a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride!

1Going up in a hot air balloon has been a bucket list (check!) item of mine for a long time and Cappadocia makes almost every “Best Places To” list out there. Go ahead, Google it. So although this was a big splurge on the budget, we thought it was worth doing in someplace with a legendary landscape.

It totally was.

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We were very lucky to go at all because the weather has been windy recently and flights cancelled for the past two days. A calm morning meant that the skies were packed with balloons, which added to the magic.

5We booked with Butterfly Balloons and they were absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised and professional, and Mike our pilot was brilliant. We met up with our fellow travellers from Canada and had a quadrant of the basket all to our selves. Butterfly restricts the number of people it takes up so that everyone gets a great view. Unlike some other companies …

2It was so peaceful up there, floating over gorgeous valleys and rock formations. Mike was as knowledgeable about the history as the geography of the land and was very entertaining.  Sometimes we were high up in the clouds (catching a wind) and you couldn’t see a foot in front of you -it was like being in limbo. Other times we were flying so low we could have touched the trees. There aren’t many more enjoyable ways to pass an hour, it was lovely, and when we landed we celebrated with cake and champagne!

7We were delivered back to our hotel in time for breakfast and to plan the rest of our day. It was decided that we take ourselves over to the Göreme Open Air Museum. The nucleus of an area that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the museum is a vast monastic complex composed of refectory monasteries placed side-by-side, each with its own fantastic church. Here we saw the finest of the rock-cut churches and their beautiful frescoes with colours so bright it is hard to believe they are from the 11th century (you’re not allowed to take pictures of many of them to keep them that way).

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We had a nice afternoon wandering around the caves, viewing churches, kitchens, and graves. It is hard to imagine how peopled lived in these places, but a lot has eroded away. It’s a miracle so much is left for us to make guesses on. It was a very special place to visit and certainly the most unique museum I have ever been to.

Getting up early meant a nap was necessary, poor Liam practically had to carry me home from the museum. I felt a lot better after a little shuteye and we ended up eating with our friends in a backpackers bar and met a lot of cool people.

 

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