|Floating on a gentle breeze high above the Traventine terraces, We stared out at the vanishing horizon. The sky glowed in a bright array of golden hues as the sun began to peak over the edge of the earth. It was soothingly quiet, with the only sound being the occasional roar of the burner in our basket. The staggering beauty of Central Turkey was only made more incredible by seeing it from above, flying in a hot air balloon in Pamukkale.
Our pilot leaned over to us with a smile on his face. “Are you two liking the ride?” All we could do was nod in disbelief. The experience had left us speechless.
The desire to fly has been ingrained into the human psyche for time immemorial. Birds soar gracefully above the earth while we stare longingly from the surface. There is something mesmerising about floating through the skies, appreciating the magnificence of this world from a higher vantage point. This desire has led mankind to experiment with different methods to give us flight. From airplanes to blimps, helicopters to hot air balloons, anything that would allow us to reach for the heavens has been tried and tested.
Over the last few years hot air ballooning in Cappadocia has become the ultimate activity for all of Turkey. Almost every traveller’s itinerary will include Istanbul and Cappadocia, with everything else being an offshoot of these two main destinations. For us it would have been no different. But, we love getting off the beaten path and finding unique adventures everywhere we go, so to us floating in a hot air balloon on the Pamukkale Tracentine terraces was the highlight for our this trip to Turkey.
The Balloon flights over the Pamukkale (meaning Cotton Castle in Turkish), is a beautiful tour over one of the most incredible creations of the nature. White travertine hill of Pamukkale and the pools of spring water creates an image of a dreamy fantasy. The view up there was breathtaking and of course to be up in sky like a bird was something we had never done. Pamukkale was not the only thing that we witnessed during the hot air balloon flight. The Holy City of Greeks and Romans, Hierapolis lies on top of the hill with many historic locations such as Domitian and Frontinus Gates, The Amphitheatre, The Temple of Apollo, The Nymphaeum, and the largest Necropolis in Turkey which extends over 2 kilometers. Below Pamukkale and Hierapolis, there lies the vast panorama of Menderes Valley.
The hot air balloon ride was over, but we couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces. The ground crew set up a table and poured us glasses of champagne to celebrate our successful flight. I still remember the look of disbelief on Sandeeps face – it was one of the best travel experiences of our lives. For all the adventurous travel we have accomplished over the years, we never would have thought something as simple as floating in a hot air balloon would be so incredible. Yet here we were, safely back on the ground, beaming with happiness.
Pamukkale Hot Air Balloon flights are conducted by licensed, and experienced pilots. The service includes pick-up from your hotel, and after the flight you’re dropped back to the hotel.
|Cut a See – Pooja Malpani|