You wake up before dawn, turn off the annoying alarm clock and, when you reach the sink, finally bring yourself to your senses with ice water. You get on the bus, where about twenty more lucky ones and the driver (it seems that he was the only one who slept here) are waiting for you, takes you first for instructions, and then to the Goreme Valley, where huge canvases cover the ground with a blanket. Literally ten minutes later, everything starts to hum and fuss around, the canvases instantly rise and take a form of a sphere and you are already standing in a dense wicker basket and wait for the departure permit. At first light, the fairy tale begins, hundreds of air balloons soar into the air, the earth recedes and internal anxiety is replaced by euphoria. All valley is spangled with the huge balloons of different colors and at this moment you realize that you have never seen anything like it.
In recent years, Cappadocia has become more and more attractive for tourists from all over the world. But not everyone knows that besides air balloons, there is a plenty of unique things. For example, here one can live in a cave. The point is that the cliffs of Cappadocia were formed as a result of a volcanic eruption, and time “sharpened” the stone in the form of peaks, which are directed into the sky. Due to the fact that the cliffs are roughly speaking volcanic, they are rather soft, relative to other rocks, and for a long time dwellings were carved in them. Today, some of these ancient dwelling were converted into hotels (comfortable enough and with all conveniences), and due to its origin the local landscape looks like something between the Grand Canyon and Mars. Also in Cappadocia there are incredible underground cities, the largest of which is Derinkuyu. The underground cities are highly interesting multilayer complexes going deep, they were not used to live in them on a permanent basis, but as a temporary shelter from enemies they were irreplaceable. Surprisingly that besides customary bedrooms or dining rooms the cities were equipped with the rooms for livestock, rain storage, temples, air pits, mills for wine production and the huge number of loopholes, passages and doors that can be quickly closed from the inside. Moreover, most of these cities were interconnected with the system of tunnels. At the moment, Derinkuyu is open to tourists more than half. However, even after an hour underground, when you go out into the street the eyes are dazzled by the color of the sun, it is difficult to imagine how people were there for weeks, or maybe months.
The balloons appeared only thirty years ago, when two enterprising Germans Lars-Erik Moore and Kali Kinder organized the first flight for a German travel company in 1991. And in 2019, Cappadocia was already visited for the first time by three million tourists in a year. The cost of the flight varies depending on the number of people in the basket, but generally you will hardly find something cheaper than EUR 100, so orient yourself toward prices about EUR 100-160. Sometimes flights are canceled because of weather conditions so plan your flight on your first day in Cappadocia, so that you could reschedule your flight in case of cancellation. But most importantly, come here and you are guaranteed to fall in love with this truly unique place.