Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In Photos: Hot-Air Balloons in Cappadocia

I've spent two posts discussing our Cappadocia trip (here and here), but the hot-air balloons deserve their own mention and a host of photos. I went on one of the balloons three summers ago and while it was a lot of fun*, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that watching the hot-air balloons might actually be more breathtaking. We had a spectacular view of the balloons going up in the morning from the various outdoor areas of our hotel, the Kelebek Cave Hotel, and our friends could even see them floating across the horizon from their room (Arch room #3). Watching the balloons, even at 6:30am, was just unforgettable and another experience that outshone ordinary sightseeing.

*Shortly after I wrote this post, a balloon hit another balloon during a morning ride in Cappadocia on May 20, causing the lower balloon -- belonging to Anatolian Balloons, the red balloon company that happens to appear a number of times in these photos -- to fall from the air, which resulted in the deaths of three Brazilian tourists and injuries to a number of the other passengers. According to the newspaper, this is the first hot-air balloon accident since 2009, which is a pretty good safety record but no doubt little consolation to the Brazilians' families or the other injured tourists. Not surprisingly, hot-air balloon bookings in Cappadocia are reportedly down 20 percent.

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