A Balloon to the Moon

If you can’t swing the fare (north of $200,000 USD) for Virgin Galactic’s forthcoming flights to outer space, perhaps it’s time for a visit to Turkey.

Specifically, make your way to the central region of Cappadocia. Here you’ll find a landscape so surreal and magical you could easily feel you were on the moon. The time, wind and water worn valleys are a sandstone spectacle begging to be explored. Numerous local trails make for great walking, biking and horseback riding. But the ultimate way to see Cappadocia is by hot air balloon.

The journey begins on the ground with a basket, a nylon envelope and a whole lot of hot air. Half an hour later, the whole contraption lifts with silent ease, and begins its ethereal drift over the gentle hills. Naturally, the balloon is at the mercy of the winds, but the pilots have an incredible knack for charting a dramatic route. At times you’ll soar hundreds of feet above the surface, for phenomenal views; moments later you might be within feet of the trees. Indeed, it’s sometimes possible to reach (not too far, please) out of the basket and touch the cliff walls. Maybe this is what inspires those dervishes to whirl? Regardless, when you finally return to earth an hour later you’ll still be on cloud nine.

www.kapadokyaballoons.com

It's sometimes possible to reach (not too far, please) out of the basket and touch the cliff walls.

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