Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia Q&A by:Shereena Lingiah
As the undoubted highlight of many holidays to Turkey, the sport of hot air ballooning has become synonymous with the region of Cappadocia. If you're planning a holiday in Cappadocia, looking for inspiration for your next travels, or just curious about how the balloons stay in the air then please enjoy the following "Q&A" guide.
How does a Hot Air Ballooon work?
Simply because warm air rises above colder air! The balloon itself is filled with enough hot air to lift the weight of the basket and passengers off the ground and above the surrounding, colder air. It is then continually topped up with hot air by the burner positioned at the opening at its base. It is therefore able to rise as much as the pilot wishes as long as he can continue to produce the required heat. In order to create such large volumes of hot air the burner is fuelled by liquid propane, which is stored in containers in the basket.
And you can do this while on holiday in Cappadocia?
No doubt. In fact many people take holidays to Cappadocia specifically for this reason. It's not unknown to have a wedding celebrated by balloon flight! There are many companies offering flights in the cities of Nevsehir, Kayseri, and Nigde as well as in the surrounding towns.
What makes Cappadocia so special?
Firstly, Cappadocia is a uniquely beautiful place. Meaning that as you drift through the sky you can observe a landscape of soft volcanic rock, valleys, pillars, cones and the famous 'fairy chimneys' of solidified ash and basalt. Secondly, it also boasts warm, gentle air currents and reliably clement weather that lessens the risk of having to cancel trips at the last minute.
What does it feel like when you're in the air?
Serene. As the balloon is carried by the air currents you will not notice any turbulence at all, in fact the journey is often likened to the smooth ride of an escalator. If it weren't for the view of the landscape flowing past and around you, you may be forgiven for thinking that you were hanging motionless in the air.
Where do you land?
You will gently set down in any one of the large, open fields that populate Cappadocia. Usually to be met by a ground crew who will transport you and all the equipment back to town.
What should I wear?
Surprisingly, it is rarely much colder in the air than on the ground, so leather gloves and flying goggles aren't a necessity. You may wish to bring a light jacket if it would make you more comfortable.
What time of day do the flights leave?
Almost always before dawn in order to capitalise on the right conditions for an easy take-off and a gentle landing. It also shows the landscape at its best, with the early morning light softly illuminating the shadows and contrasts of the landscape below. Holidays to Turkey can offer no better opportunity to enjoy the country's beauty.
How long does the flight last?
This is the good part. Most flights last around an hour and a half, allowing plenty of time to drink in the splendour of your surroundings. And, as they start so early, you could be back at your hotel by 8.30am, ready to enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the day to continues to dawn around you.
About the author
Shereena Lingiah is the Marketing Manager for Anatolian Sky a specialist travel company that provide the very best holidays to Turkey (http://www.anatoliansky.co.uk/Home/Holidays-in-Turkey.aspx) at extremely competitive prices. They provide tailor-made holidays to Turkey and the Anatolian region.