My Red balloon My Red Balloon 

Flies high , Flies high Flies High 

I jump up high to catch the sky

But could not catch it why ?

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We keep sailing

I didn’t jump high to catch the sky but definitely my / our red air balloon was flying high enough for us to float in the sky of Cappadocia 

When the tour of Greece and Turkey was being planned, everyone known kept on insisting on taking a Hot Air Balloon ride  in Cappadocia for sure . The entire trip was planned by my sis in law. I could not help it but ensured that a Hot Air Balloon ride was there on the agenda . Day 1 was spent in exploring the underground cities of Kaymakali , visiting the Red Valley and Cavusyn churches and finally indulging in a Hamam Bath in the city of Urgup .

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Some sailing and some getting ready

Day 2 was reserved for the hot Air Balloon ride and an early morning wake up call started the journey. We got up at 4 a.m. and left our hotel at 4.30 a.m. Groggy eyes , slight hangover from the wine from last night, nothing could dampen the excitement of a hot air balloon ride . The Hotel bus took us for a pit stop on the way at another Hotel for an elaborate breakfast which was supposed to be quick .

Breakfast and vaccation are always like lusty lovers with great chemistry and equation , whenever together – they get along like a house on fire . This was no different . We used our hands , eyes and taste buds to the maximum for an early morning work out and devoured the sumptuous breakfast on the offering .

Once the breakfast was done we headed towards Goreme from where the ride was scheduled . The balloon rides are dependent on the weather conditions and direction of wind . We were lucky that we had both the conditions in our favour for that day . It is said that there are almost 200 – 250 registered balloon companies in Cappadocia and on a good weather day one can see around 200 – 250 balloons sailing the sky . On our way we could see numerous balloons getting ready with the hot air being blown in .

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Climbing up to the moon

We were a 24 size carriage and after proper briefing and safety instructions we stepped inside the balloon under the able and safe hands of Monica – our pilot for the day . Monica was a sweet charming lady who filled the entire tour with information around and moments of laughter in between .

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So near yet so far

The ride was spectacular to say the least and we were lucky enough also to spot the moon fading away during the golden hours of the morning . The beautiful valleys craved out of volcanic rocks by wind over centuries presented unique smooth shapes as well as colours .

Crystal clear sky with numerous colourful balloons gliding away in the air with occasional whoosh of the flame filling the balloon and warm soft sunlight falling over the plateau could not get anymore beautiful . The fairy chimneys, some of which were home to numerous boutique hotels and pigeon caves, where the farmers harvest pigeon manure for their fields were a treat to watch .

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How green was my valley

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The volcanic rocks

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Those valleys

Ask a person with his girlfriend how time flies away and ask a person waiting for a delayed flight how time flies slow . We experienced the first one here and within no time, our spectacular flight ended.

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Shadows are deceptive

Landing was smooth and Monica was such a darling about that . The final icing on the cake was the champagne offered on landing .

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Finally the landing

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Day ends or it starts for tomorrow

Its almost 300 days a year that the balloons can fly in Cappadocia , so whenever you plan a tour to Cappadocia, dont forget to go for a hot air Balloon ride .

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The customary Champagne

Photographer’s tips –

1. Please dont miss to take the pictures of the preparatory phase of the Balloon ride . The fire flames inflating the balloon will offer you some great shots . Unfortunately I missed them.

2. If possible while on your way to the ride stop your vehicle for sometime . Giant Balloons getting ready are a sight to watch. They make you feel like you are in some martian/ sci -fi land with giant dragons with fire in their belly, or may be some space ships….Your imagination could go wild.

3. Please dont forget to carry a wide lens while travelling .. Wide lens is the key

4.  Dont forget to take the pictures of the valleys

5. This is the golden hour of shooting. So light is as good as it gets. The more you click the better it is for you.

6. While travelling in the balloon, changing the lens will be little tricky. So you may need some help from your companion. In my case, I had 5 others to help me out.

7.  Dont miss out on the landing and the balloons getting deflated and also the Champagne ceremony . So its important that you take a good position while the champagne is being opened – I got a good frame as above. 

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