We woke up early (and I mean early) as we boarded the bus for the short ride to where our balloons were waiting at 4.15am!
Wow is all I can say for the balloon ride. Our pilot who had been doing this for 7 years took the balloon with 8 people in it up to 1200 metres. One of our group asked how high the balloon could go and all he answered was 1200 m so we worked out this is the maximim allowed. There must have been over 100 balloons in the air the entire time so as well as going with the wind it was necessary to avoid others. For the first part of the trip we soared high and watched the sun rise. Then he took us down lower and we went down Pigeon valley and Love valley where we could see more closely the caves and fairy chimneys as the tall rock outcrops are called.
For both Ian and I it was our first balloon experience and what a place to do it. It was truly remarkable. While others are now eager to try ballooning elsewhere, I am not sure anything could up up to this experience. I enjoyed the high soaring and Ian preferred the lower ballooning where he could see more and we were going beside the rock formations.
After the balloon ride in the morning and breakfast, we headed our for a tour of the local area. Scenic spots to view the fairy chimneys and another spot where different rocks formation make the imagination work overtime.
The underground city was amazing. The tunnels and rooms, protected from intruders was fascinating. We then visited a family ceramic factory where we saw the process of making and then painting the ceramic pieces. Very labour intensive
In the afternoon we visited the Goreme open air theatre which had some incredible churches carved out of the rocks.
Visited a carpet factory where we were shown some weavers at work. However it was a very hard sell session and we all walked away with no purchases.
We took Vulcan for a drive late afternoon to get a photo of her in front of some of the rock formations.