Day 4 - Turkey explorer topdeck.
Was a very early start ... Up at 4 am ready to leave for the ballooning at 430am ! We set off but stopped for a light breakfast snack on the way to the launch sight. We arrived at the site in the gorgeous valley with the fairy chimneys. It was exciting to watch the balloon filling up with the hot air and preparing for take off. Climbed into the basket and practiced a landing brace position. Then we took off... It was amazing! The balloon just floats up into the sky it was so quiet and that feeling of slight weightless as we rose into the sky was unreal...
We were in the balloon for an hour... It was amazing... Moving up and down and across the landscape. Looking down onto the features below. It was something elsa like I have never experienced :) you spent so much of your time just thinking wow! and the other part of it taking pictures because everywhere you looked was picture perfect.
We landed so smoothly straight onto the trailer. It was sad to end the ride as it was so incredible. We finished with a glass of champagne and cake.
We travelled back to the hotel and spent a few hours getting ready for the day and then another breakfast. We left the hotel at 10am for a tour of the cappadocia region.
The first place visited contained lots of formations which had suffered some serious erosion and the volcanic rock has fallen off of the ash stack. Those left were balancing carefully. It was interesting to learn how the formation were created via an old active volcano that first spewed out ash and this covered an was blown over a large area, then volcanic rock was sprayed out over a large area covering the ash. The lava only covers the land close to the volcano. Then erosion from water and wind meant the weaker parts were worn away leaving these fanatic columns. It was great fun exploring the around the rocks.
We then drove to another site at the village called chavnin. This was a village carved out of the rock formations. When the ash fell to the ground from the sky large air pockets were formed. People used these air pocket caves to live in. This village has been abandoned those due to it's unstable nature. We got to spend time walking and climbing around looking into the houses and caves. It was so interesting too see how they created there village using the natural shelter around them.
We then visited the Goreme open air museum. This site had a lot of churches and houses inside the rock/ ash. The churches dated from 11th century BC and many had traditional paintings on the walls with orthodox icons and stories from the bible.
After a lunch stop we went to a carpet producing co-op. We were able to see how silk cocoons are spun into silk thread. There were also several women there weaving different carpets using silk or wool. The speed and intricitice at which they work was unparralled. there were also, of course the carpet sales men. Was alright to look at the different patterns and colour used based on the region of turkey.
Back at the hotel for some much needed down time..... A nana nap was taken as we had a dinner and show on the cards for the evening. The dinner and show was located in a purpose built resturant in which every large group had there own little tired section facing the central dance floor. We were served our meal slowing with lots of dancing and music in-between. Was great to watch some of the dancing and look at all the different traditional style outfits they wore. At the end of the night they put on a Turkish DJ and we danced.