Cappadocia is a place with many appealing activities for tourists, but in all probability nothing compares to the magical experience of hot air ballooning over this truly unique landscape. Having gotten up early – no, really, when did you last set you alarm for 3:30 AM?? - our balloon slowly rose into the sky just as the sun began to rise. Surrounded in the air by more than 70 multi-coloured balloons, we floated up to a height of 1000 feet. The haunting panorama beyond consisted of the snow-capped mountains in the distance (the same ancient volcanoes responsible for the eroded volcanic ash below) and the vast valleys between them. The magical landscape of gorges dotted with mushroom shaped fairy chimneys, rock villages and caves in the mountainsides was even more surreal from the air. Our pilot took us down into the valley, almost touching the grape vines and apricot trees below and floating so close to the valley walls that we could peek into the pigeon holes. For more than an hour, we drifted in a stillness that was as much a result of the windless Turkish morning as it was of our own silent awe.
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