Thursday, October 13, 2011

Magic land at Cappodocia

Soft air, soft light, early morning, floating, rising to greet the day.
Soft pastel pinks, yellows, mauves and greens, unfurling folds of ancient rock at peace against the rising sunlight.
A new day began with excited anticipation driving through the still dark streets of Goreme to pick up four extra passengers. Reunited we shared hot coffee and pastries with other travel groups all talking loudly.
It was still dark as we drove out to the take off point.  The balloon was still being inflated.  All around other balloons were starting to ascend with the dawn light.
It was our turn and once on board lift off was more subtle that going up in an elevator.
The only sound to indicate human intervention in our flight was the rush and hiss of the gas flame.
We floated above and through a magic fairyland.  This ancient land was formed by mighty volcanoes spewing and blanketing ash 30 million years ago.  Continuing erosion over time by water and changes in temperature has shaped the landscape we see on this day from our balloon.
Rock formations appear to rise from the ground like cones. However the opposite is true: the land has been weathered from above.  The process is harsh and yet the result seems to be soft, unfolding, yielding, casting shadows.
Our pilot lowers the balloon.  We can see the ground crew ready to catch the ropes. Then oh so smoothly our basket is landed onto the back of a tray top truck.  Only then are we able to climb out. 

 In the basket my feet and body felt light and free.
On the ground following our celebratory drinks I wandered  a little way from my group.  The pilot had landed in a tiny field between grapevines.  In this field I felt so alive to the stillness and the beauty of this landscape.  I could have stayed longer.


  1. Beautifully written (and beautifully read). Floating in a balloon has been one of my photographic highlights in the last ten years and your words help me recapture that.

  2. Lynn, I have a couple of photos of you in the basket. You are not snapping photos, and look what I can only describe as sublime, in a place beyond happy or thrilled. It was a wonderful experience I would do again in a heartbeat. I'll email you the photos if you like.