There’s one constant that you will find in nearly every bucketlist or things-to-do-before-you-die clickbait—taking a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. At about 160 Euros per person on average (for an hour’s ride), a hot air balloon ride does not come cheap. Here are some photos to convince you that 160 Euros for a lifetime of memories is worth it.
You start the day at the brink of dawn, your blaring alarm at 4am will make you question if you have made the right decision. Do I really have to do this?
None of those clickbait articles warned you about this part. It’s so cold. You shuffle half-awake. Don’t forget to pee.
No, but really, don’t forget to pee. You’ll be stuck on what is virtually a floating picnic basket for an hour.
The bus takes you to the starting point. Am I really doing this, you ask. Is it safe? The balloon rises up slowly but surely. It looks like how you felt this morning when your alarm wouldn’t stop ringing.
Not before long, the wind moves in a direction that is favourable. You climb into the basket, wondering if this glorified fruit basket can support you and the 10 other people that are climbing in with you.
Its lift off! Ok, maybe that wasn’t so bad. You contemplate the actual odds of you falling to your death. Have you written a will? Who will take all your clothes? Hands off, Sally.
You realise you’re not the only balloon that has taken off, there are others and they are oh-so-beautiful. One lights up the sky as the pilot turns on the BBQ. The smell of gasoline no longer bothers you.
Dawn breaks and the sky turns a beautiful baby pink, clouds float like feathers from some gigantic flamingo. “This isn’t so bad”, you think to yourself. Nothing can be stranger than this view: Strange little balloons float over what seems to be an alien landscape, something that can be from Mars or another dimension, something dreamt up by a vicarious painter, dreaming of volcanos and bubbles or was it triangles and circles… You lose your train of thought to appreciate the beauty of the moment.
The sun gets brighter and brighter. You feel like you're in the opening scene of lion king. "Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba"! A balloon rises above the horizon, it makes for a beautiful silhouette, you take a photo for Facebook to make all your friends jealous.
You fly over strange houses which look more like a giant ant colony than anything. Its abandoned now but people used to live there. Imagine that!
Some balloons fly a little too close for comfort, you wonder how the people inside feel. I would probably be screaming my head off and my dogs would be very freaked out.
Before you know it. You start to descend. The trip was everything and nothing that you had seen in the commercials or read about in those clickbait 10 things to check off your bucket list listicles. Uck.
It was new and exciting but it was also quiet enough for some contemplation and self-reflection. It was a dream.
So you celebrate your newfound love for hot air balloons and congratulate yourself with some champagne at 8am in the morning. Talk about breakfast for champions.
Cheer’s to you Cappadocia!
So are you inspired? You better me. It took me a while and a whole lot of pretentious prose. Urgh, share this with someone you'd like to hop on an air balloon and tell me how it goes!