BALLOON-FILLED SKIES

Baloon-Filled Skies, Turkey - ORIGIN Magazine

This is the country that is going to tempt you to get high up in the sky and experience the unique, bird-eye view of its magnificent landscape

Words: Aleksandra Georgieva

24 April 2019

The historical region of Cappadocia is located in the Anatolian region in Turkey. It has become a famous tourist destination, but as tempting as it is to visit, here is a bit more about the region you might not have known.

Cappadocia hosts natural wonders such as the tall and thin earth pyramids formed by eroded stones and volcanic rocks and known as fairy chimneys. People used the soft stone in this location to create underground shelters, which are now scattered across the landscape in a surreal type of architecture. After volcanic eruptions, which took place nearly four million years ago, the destination is now covered with man-carved caves and underground cities. Some of them include the cities of Gaziemir, Ozkonak, Derinkuyu and more. Probably the best cave houses, located in areas like Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar are in fact not inhabited by the locals, but preserved for tourist visits.

 

The location is also a historical and cultural site, rich in heritage. The touristic side of Cappadocia consists of four cities - Nigde, Nevsehir, Aksaray and Kayseri, which has a railway and airline services to the capital Ankara and one of the country's main cities Istanbul. On the list of sightseeing one can easily find the subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı or the rock-cut churches of the Göreme Open-Air Museum.

Today the main activity in the region is the hot air balloon rides, which fill up the skies above Cappadocia daily. Flying high up or relatively close to the magnificent landscape beneath, those rides provide the unique opportunity of witnessing a landscape carved out by Mother Nature and humans combined. While Cappadocia served as a hippie trail for backpackers' hitchhikers, crossing from Europe to Asia, the region remains largely untouched by contemporary urbanisation.

 

Witnessing areas such as the Fairy Valley, the Monastery Valley, the region of Goreme or the Ihlara Valley, is an experience made possible relatively recently and attracting the attention of people from all over the world. Whether you would choose to take a hot air balloon ride during the warm-coloured sunset hours, or you would prefer to go straight after the sun rises, accompanied by traditional Turkish breakfast, make no mistake it would feel like a bucket list experience.

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