Balloon Ride of a Lifetime

A balloon ride has always been bucket listed, but found it difficult to choose the right kind of place or time to take one. Once Cappadocia became a pin on our map though I knew I was locking it in. Cappadocia is debatably the best spot in the world for a hot air balloon tour with around 120 balloons that depart early each morning.

I was buzzing when we arrived in Cappadocia. The first day was a bit drab. Raining with high wind gust. We defiantly weren’t heading up that morning. The following days forecast was beautiful though. We had been staying at the Castle In Hotel and the owner of the hotel asked if we wanted to book with . Discovering that they were exactly what we wanted in our ride we quickly booked.

The next morning the alarm went off at 4:40am.We were in the shuttle bus and enroute to Royal Balloon headquarters by 5:20. There we were served an open buffet style breakfast with tons of fruit, breads, jams, coffee and tea. Not long after 6am we again were in a shuttle taking us to the fields were the balloons departed.

Driving along, huge balloons the size of buildings were being inflated. Massive orange flames sparked in every direction as the night turned to dawn. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen. As we pulled up to our balloon was quickly inflating as the 5 foot flame was forcing hot air in.

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The balloon had room for 16 people but luckily we only had 11. We hopped in and then discovered that the pilot was in fact the owner of the hotel we had been staying at. Jack of all trades this guy. He had been hot air flying for 25+ years and was head pilot of the company.
< After some quick ground photos we left ground. Rising slowly at first, we seemed to be one of the first groups off the ground. Only us and a handful of others were airborne. It was feeling of awe as you hang your had over the basket and watch the earth distance itself from you. The loud blow of the torch roared as we climbed higher and higher. We slowly started watching more and more balloons hover up from behind hills all over. With the sun and balloons rising almost simultaneously the view was incredible. We reached a max altitude of over 100M. I’m not usually a baby about heights but I managed to freak myself out a little at this height. We quickly descended to a more comfortable altitude though and sailed through the amazing Cappadocia landscape. After taking a hundred and some photos we began our descent. Just in time, as a massive fog rolled over the mountains out of nowhere. The fog made the last photos we took look like we had been hovering over the clouds even though we were only 15 meters above the ground. We landed and filled with adrenaline climbed out of the basket. We were treated to champagne and received a medal for our flight experience. Great final touches to what was one of my top travel activities. If a hot air balloon ride isn’t on your bucket list. Chalk it up.

A generation 'y'er from Ireland, living his dreams and convincing you to do the same. Traveling through more than 90 countries around the world and showing no signs of slowing down