Flights of Fancy in Cappadocia, Turkey – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.

By Posted in - Asia & Europe & Photo Journal & Somewhere In Time & Travel Blog on May 3rd, 2012


Somewhere In Time is a weekly travel photo from around the world. Enjoy!

Royal Balloon Ride through Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon. Hot Air Balloooooooooon…

Just saying the words conjures up notions of faraway exotic illusions.  What is it about this magical mystery flying machine that turns me into mush?

Hot + Air + Balloon = Imaginative Thoughts of Wanderlust.

There is nothing else in the world that can bring the same amount of whimsy & travel fascination as a hot air balloon. Sure, planes are cool but they come with TSA & screaming kids; trains are decidedly romantic but no, even they still don’t entrance the way a hot air balloon can. Could a submarine steal the show? For some maybe but no, still not the same. Plus they come with that whole water pressure issue.

I just can’t think of anything else in the world that lights my fancy like the image of a hot air balloon floating effortlessly around the world. It makes my thoughts dance.

It’s my little travel pie in the sky, if you will.

I always dreamed of taking a hot air balloon ride but I never had the chance to make it a reality. Until we went to Turkey.

When we headed to Cappadocia on the 12 hour overnight bus I had a pretty strong gut feeling that we were in for something special. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect – maybe some hiking, some late night photo walks and plates of delicious Turkish yogurt.

I can’t explain it fully – but you know when you get a feeling about a place? You can’t describe it, you can’t put your finger on it but somewhere deep inside there is something brewing – a rumbling, a magnetic force, a calling. Sometimes that one indescribable feeling is all you need to get you going or keep you going.

I had this feeling about Cappadocia. It captured me, enraptured me, kept me dreaming & wanting to walk down the next, dusty alleyway.

Then one morning I saw the hot air balloons floating over the Tim Burton-esque landscape and I knew of all places – this should be it. This should be the place I do mental cartwheels among the clouds and effortlessly skip hand-in-hand with the delicate wind.

It was on a wing and a prayer that I sent an email to Royal Balloon asking if they might like a review of their balloon ride in exchange for a couple seats on their flying fantasy machine known as the hot air balloon. I pushed send, crossed my fingers and then tried not to check my email every 5 minutes.

A few hours later we were booked in for a 5am flight the next day!

I will never forget the feeling – sitting in our little cave hotel room, listening to the call to prayer and realizing that I was going up in a hot air balloon the next day – in Cappadocia, Turkey, no less! It was surreal.

Talk about a dream come true – it was unbelievable. Better than I ever could have imagined. The hot air balloon was the perfect vessel for true escape – letting go of everything yet still being awed at the same time.

In the space of a couple hours I saw Cappadocia in a completely different light and grew more enchanted with it as each minute that passed. I now can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if we didn’t go.

Although the last few weeks have been some of the hardest for my family I’ve been daydreaming back to that day when we floated along the Turkish skies like spellbound children reading their favorite fairytale.

Even on land the memory is still a great escape. The people at Royal Balloon were equally fantastic, especially our pilot Suat, who was beyond compare – knowledgeable, confident & funny.

Behind the scenes I’ve been editing a lot of photos from our hot air balloon ride for 2 upcoming photo essays. This one is a favorite of mine which is why I decided to feature it in the Somewhere In Time series. Please be sure to stay tuned because there are a LOT more hot air balloon photos to come along with some great write ups by Randy.

Until then, I hope you enjoy my little flight of fancy.


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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(13) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • John | Travel Rinse Repeat -

    May 3, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Wow this picture is beautiful – can’t wait to see more in your photo essays.

    • Bethany -

      May 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Thank John!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) -

    May 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

    This is incredible! I have always suspected that a hot air balloon ride would be truly out of this world, and you perfectly managed to capture that element of mystique that is has. This is something I’d love to do one day, but my husband has a horrible fear of heights and thinks HABs are death traps… Maybe this picture will inspire him to relinquish his fear?

    • Bethany -

      May 3, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Thank you so much Steph. Well you can tell your hubby that I was also a little nervous. I wondered if it would be scary but by the time we were in the air it was almost a surprise – it is so easy & gentle. There is no need to fear at all. In fact, I was surprised at just how peaceful & quiet it was. It really is amazing. I guarantee he will most likely forget about his fears after 5 minutes. It’s very awe-inspiring and feels very safe. I would say if you go, make sure you go with someone that has a lot of experience. Royal Balloon is probably the best balloon company in the area – they even took up Martha Stewart! So I felt really safe with them and our pilot had 20 – 30 years of experience and a LOT of passion for his craft. Hopefully your hubby will go for it one day!

  • Leigh -

    May 3, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Smart moving getting in touch with the balloon company. I’ve only gone ballooning once – near Ouray, Colorado. It wasn’t what I expected – quieter for one. And peaceful. If I go to Cappadocia I’d love to head out again.

    • Bethany -

      May 4, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I agree, it was far more peaceful & quiet than I imagined. 🙂

  • Barbara -

    May 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Incredible! And it seems surreal too. Cappadocia seems an amazing city. Tell me, though, would you recommend a hot air balloon flight to someone who is slightly scared of heights? 🙂

    • Bethany -

      May 4, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Well it guess it depends how afraid you are. I can tell you it’s a very peaceful ride, not jumpy or stressful in any way and there are times when you are pretty low to the ground. I was a bit nervous before we went but it really is very relaxing. I think it would be a great way to work on a fear of heights because it is so calm & peaceful.

  • Ayngelina -

    May 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I have always wanted to do a hot air balloon as well but for some reason I have never done it, I think I keep holding out because I want something as special as what you had.

  • Alouise -

    May 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Beautiful picture. A hot air ballon flight was actually the first flight I ever took (my parents had won a contest on a loca radio station). I can only imagine how lovely it would have been to take a flight in Cappadocia.

  • Flashpacker -

    August 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Currently on an around the world trip and had planned to do a hot air balloon flight in Bagan, Burma. Due to it being low season no flights were operating, I was gutted. This is something I really want to do, hadn’t considered doing this in Turkey up until now.