Even the best laid plans go astray ….. The previous evening I realised that we had made a serious mistake in the location of the hotel we were currently staying in as regards getting to Göreme for an early morning start for our hot air balloon trip. We were in fact some 80km away and we were going to have to get up at 3am! The alarm clock sounded only too early and we managed to leave at 3.30, picking up our packed breakfast on the way out. We drove to Göreme via Derinkuyu and it only took us about 1 hr to get there so we had loads of time to kill before meeting up with Ozan at the bus station. There K got talking to someone in a tourism agency who told him we could get coffee at my house and told us how to find it. We thought he meant it was his house but when we got there it turned out to be a little café called My House. It didn’t look as if it was open because all we could see was a TV set that was on. However, we pushed open the door and asked if they were open and they said yes, they had been open since 4am because they make poaca (savoury pastries) which are sold to some of the balloon companies for breakfast. At 6am we were collected from there and taken to İstanbul Balloon’s depot for a light breakfast.
We were then taken to the area used by many of the balloon companies for take offs. We watched other balloons being inflated – like sleeping animals coming to life.
and watched in fascination as other balloons started taking off around us
More balloons followed ours until the sky seemed to be full of them.
There were 16 people in our basket plus 2 crew and at least 2 helpers/translators. We saw the sun rise and were up in the air for about 1 hr – fantastic. Although this wasn’t my first balloon flight, I always experience the same thrill as the balloon becomes airborne and the landscape is laid out like a map below you.
At one point we could see about 30 other balloons in the air. During the summer season there can be literally hundreds!
At the end of our flight the pilot managed a similar picture perfect landing on the trailer.
After landing safely, bottles of (apple) bubbly were cracked open and each person got a survivor’s certificate.