Join me on my travelling and nom nomming adventures!
Do you guys ever set out to do one thing, get horribly distracted and end up creating more work for yourself? This is what I’ve been doing all week. I’ve been trying to find my old photos of Italy to add the finishing touches to this blog post I’ve been working on. I still haven’t found them, but in the process, decided my four – that’s right, not one, not two, but FOUR – hard drives were all in a mess and required streamlining so that things will be easier to find. In the process of moving things to and fro, I’ve come across heaps of old travel photos I’d love to share with you. So, as one of my goals of 2018, every week that I’m at home and not travelling, I’d like to share one cool place that I’ve been to that you might like to add to your own bucket list.
For my first post in this series, I just couldn’t resist sharing with you the photos I snapped whilst hot air ballooning over the bizarre otherworldly landscape of Goreme, Cappadocia in Turkey, known colloquially as Penis Valley. Take a look yourself, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not hard to see why (no pun intended).
Bear in mind that I visited Turkey way back in 2006, in the early days of digital cameras, when smart phones were a luxury only a few could afford, and when blogging was a hobby and not a career. How I wish I had put more effort into my first blog, which I only hopped onto every now and then as a way of updating friends and family as to my whereabouts. Alas at my lack of foresight into how lucrative a little hobby could one day become! Anyhow, armed as I was then with only a 5MP (I think) compact camera and very little know-how, I now look back at many of my photos from my 18 months living and travelling in Europe, and cringe. Yet, many of the photos taken at Goreme have passed the test of time. This is a testament to how strangely beautiful these phallic rock formations really are!
I guess the bright contrasting colours of the hot air balloons help.
Just in case you’re interested to know how to make this trip happen for yourself, I was on an On-the-Go tour very similar to this one. In fact, looking at the itinerary, this may be the very same tour that I was on except for the fact that my trip included an overnight vigil at Gallipoli for Anzac Day. In fact, if you’re planning a trip to Turkey, I do highly recommend timing your visit such that you can attend the Anzac Day memorial services. It really is a poignant once-in-a-lifetime experience. Unfortunately, this particular 14 day tour doesn’t seem to be running over the Anzac Day period this year, but here are a few other Anzac Day options you might like to consider.
I really only went to Turkey just so I could experience Anzac Day at Gallipoli, so imagine my great surprise and delight at how breathtaking and unique many of the landscapes and buildings are throughout the entire country. Even if you don’t pick the exact tour that I went on with On-the-Go, I do suggest using the listed itinerary as a guide, because each day seemed to bring ever more extraordinary sights. It was very fitting that we got to Cappadocia towards the end, as for me, this was the jewel in the crown.
Now, I was also travelling on a tighter budget back then, so I deliberated quite long and hard over splurging on this hot air balloon flight. How glad I am that I did fork out the cash. If you’ve never been ballooning before, I daresay this is one of the best places in the world to be enjoying this experience.
The day starts out bright and early before the sun is even up. It actually gets quite cold in Turkey, at least it did when I was there towards the end of April. So remember to rug up! This next series of photos gives you an idea of how the balloons are inflated ready for their ascent.
We take off from a fairly open field, and having done no research prior to my tour (yup, those were the days of bright eyed innocent travel), I knew not what to expect, so at first was way more intrigued by the hot air balloons.
Only as we headed upwards and towards the valley did I realise that I had somehow ended up in one of the wonders of the world.
Soon, my attention was purely on those amazing rock formations.
I suppose the hot air balloons still caught my eye every so often.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We landed in a ditch and had to help push the basket out.
Despite that, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely do it all again if I had the chance.
Have you ever been on a hot air balloon flight? In Cappadocia or elsewhere? What other places do you know of that would be great to go ballooning?
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