Up up up in the air!
We didn’t sleep much at night, because at 4:30 in the morning we scheduled a pick-up to go on a hot-air balloon ride.
Mar woke me up at 4:35 am and it was a mad scramble to get dressed and get up to the lobby. Luckily, our van, which apparently came to get us early, went to get everyone else and then came back to get Marlo and I.
We were taken to the balloon office where we paid for the ride and were given coffee and cookies. There were lots of people, but it was very organized and soon we were driven to an area where there were fields of hay and gigantic hot air balloons being set up.
Everyone in the basket…
And up we go as the sun comes up!
Up in the hot air balloon, we had the coolest view of the castle:
When we landed, folks from the balloon company came out to catch us and lower the balloon to the ground. Our balloon pilot unlatched a hole in the top of the balloon to let out the air. Once the balloon was laid out, they asked everyone to run on it in order to deflate it.
Here we were back in the hay fields!
After the balloon was rolled up, we celebrated our ride with a cherry-soda-and-champagne cocktail (at 7 in the morning).
We got certificates of achievement for our efforts.
When we got home it was almost 8am and it was time to crash out! We must’ve slept about 5 hours or so before getting ourselves together to go and meet Koray, Clare and the rest of the crew in town at Koray’s uncle’s carpet shop.
Marlo and my last stop in Capadocia was at a traditional Hamam (Turkish Bath).
It’s a co-ed spa that you wear your bathing suit to.
First, they give you a key to a changing room. Then, they lead you into a giant sauna room where there’s a big slab of marble in the middle. We laid down in on it and looked up into the giant dome. We could hear the water dripping and all was quiet, except for the call to prayer which was like a soothing musical background to our traditional experience.
Then it was massage time. One of us got scrubbed downwith a loofa while the other got a soapy massage and then we switched. They washed our hair, too.
Our time in Capadocia was over too quickly! I was sad that we had to leave. All too soon, our ride came to take us to the airport. We were bound for Istanbul.