Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride


A strange silence filled the sky When my hot air balloon from Cappadocia took us up through the clouds over central Turkey.

The calm was only interrupted by the occasional noise that occurred when our pilot, Mustafa, released the Flame to heat the air, which kept us aloft.

Outwardly, the 360-degree landscape came straight from a fantasy Novel, with ethereal balloons pointing to the sky, while the rising sun cast a golden glow over everything.

Internally, I was freaked out. I may have signed up of my own free will, but I was more and more petrified as the Ball continued to rise.

Unlike the paragliding or skydiving I had done before, there was no harness that protected me from the pilot or parachute.

Nothing connected me to the basket of the ball except gravity.

My life was in the hands of a pilot who, admittedly, had no way of controlling the Balloon when we took off.

How did I get here, and more importantly, why did I deliberately do something that I knew was going to scare me?

Hot air balloon trip in Cappadocia

Coping with fears

One of my favorite things about traveling are the endless possibilities to face your fears.

At home IN THE UNITED STATES, it is easy for me to feel comfortable and safe.

On the road, half the world, less.

I am naturally more adventurous when I am not at home, which becomes a springboard from which I expand my lead even further.

I had saved the experience of a hot air balloon ride to Cappadocia after seeing the photos of what it looked like in the middle of an old landscape of fairy chimneys and rocky castles.

The flip side of those years of waiting was the anxiety of waiting, which had room to grow.

In general, it is easier to cope with his fears if you treat him as if you tear off a bandage and do what scares you as quickly as possible.

That said, I was stubbornly obliged to do this activity whenever I finally found myself in Cappadocia.

Selection of a balloon company

It was only when I arrived in the city of Göreme after my visit to Mount Nemrut that I started looking for which company to use for my Sunrise balloon ride.

As a Backpacker, it is easy to get into the Routine, always looking for the lowest guide or tour operator.

I have done this in the past, but I wanted the extra sense of security that I would feel by paying a premium.

After doing some research online, I chose butterfly balloons for my virgin balloon trip, after seeing that they were the same company used by Rick Steves.

The cost was about for a flight of at least one hour, including ground transportation, buffet breakfast, and champagne toast after landing.

Hot air ballooning is a big deal in Cappadocia, so there is a lot of competition for your attention and money. Low Prices are a Way to attract Customers.

A week after leaving the city in the direction of the coast, I saw an article about another balloon company that crashed into power lines and sent tourists to the hospital.

My advice is to do your research and pay a little more to make sure you’re going with a company that has an excellent safety record.


The morning started early when I woke up in my cave hotel long before sunrise.

I wore a long-sleeved shirt and a light Prana jacket, with the pickpocket-proof khaki pants that I love. I brought my Oakley sunglasses, camera and iPhone.

The Butterfly Balloons Office was just steps away, where about thirty other tourists and employees gathered for a light buffet breakfast of fruit and pastries.

Once everyone was there, we were brought to our respective Balloons in minivans.

All around us, balloons were inflated on the ground, the baskets of which were then tilted upright to allow passengers to board.

I posed nervously for a quick picture after climbing aboard my balloon. As a safety measure, Butterfly Balloons has a limit of 16 passengers.

Above the Clouds

The sky had already clearly cleared; I was a little worried that we would miss the sunrise.

I wanted us to move. However, when the hot air balloon started to climb, I felt my fear coming!

There were dozens of Balloons that were higher than us and looking down, so many Balloons that were still waiting to take off.

The whole situation was surreal, unlike anything I had seen or done.

Although I was in a basket floating gently upward, I was looking for ways to get grounded and relieve my fear.

I turned to the center of the basket and looked at the driver.

If Rick Steves could trust Mustafa, who trained in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I could, too.

I had a little conversation with other travelers, including an Iranian couple.

I asked someone to take some pictures of me (at the time, I didn’t know I had food in my front teeth – doh).

After fifteen minutes, my anxiety began to subside. If you are familiar with exposure therapy, you know why.

I have been in this anxiety situation long enough to feel that I was fine.

My body began to relax a little and I could better appreciate the beauty of this unique perspective.

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