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Posts tagged ‘hot air balloons’

Sunday Stills: landscapes

big, wide open landscapes ….

Koycegiz lake in Turkey

Uchisar, Cappadocia in Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia

hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia

sharing with Sunday Stills

weekly photo challenge: descent

Even if we didn’t manage to descend to the bottom of St Patrick’s well in Orvieto, Italy my glasses did. I leaned out to take a photo looking down the well and my camera jogged against my glasses knocking them off. I watched, horrified, as they bounced off the window ledge and then down into the void over 100 metres below…. We were at the beginning of our day’s outing and still had places to go. To make matters worse on our return to the hotel, when I put my spare pair of glasses on one of the lenses fell out of its frame. It was a public holiday just before a weekend and it was 3 days before I could get them repaired. Of such joys is life made!


the cascate delle marmore at nearby Terni

the chairlift down to Gubbio


descent from Schafberg, Austria

When I was looking for suitable images for this challenge, although I found lots looking up various staircases, I had none looking down. I wonder why that is. Note to self – must take the occasional shot looking down a staircase

How did you interpret this week’s challenge?

Road trip in Turkey part 5: hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

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.

more gas, please


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.



Pink valley


At one point we could see about 30 other balloons in the air. During the summer season there can be literally hundreds!




aerial view of Goreme


rock dwellings cut into the soft rock



At the end of our flight the pilot managed a similar picture perfect landing on the trailer.

dismantling the envelope as the actual balloon bit is called from the basket

After landing safely, bottles of (apple) bubbly were cracked open and each person got a survivor’s certificate.

the basket of possibility

The following is the result of a prompt from Kerry Vincent on culture baskets.

Bristol, a city of famous seafarers, travelers and adventurers, was my birthplace. It is also home to the first hot air balloon factory of Don Cameron . In keeping with the traveler within me, it is therefore fitting that my culture basket should the basket of a hot air balloon. I never thought I would ever get the chance to fly in a hot air balloon – symbol of my dreams – but I have, 3 times. Each flight was magical. The silence of the early morning, the quality of the light and, above all the silence – except for the roar of the flames holding the balloon above.

culture basket

hot air balloon

hot air balloon

hot air balloons

All those qualities of the early adventurers are my cultural heritage: invention, imagination, creativity, dreams, inspiration and the thirst for knowledge.

(the photos were taken at the 11th world hot air balloon festival, Meysembourg, Luxembourg, in August 1993)