24/01 au 28/01/19 – Kapadokya, entre terres et ciel

The (excellent) roads lead us between the mountains to Kaymacli, where we will improvise a stop to visit the underground troglodyte city, one of the best preserved (apparently) of the region.

The next day we will mingle with a few groups of tourists to discover a tiny part of this fantastic construction, built on 8 levels underground. The ramifications and corners seem infinite, a real labyrinth! Very good for children who follow for once in a museum without complaining.

Next stop is only 25 km away: Göreme, in the heart of the Cappadocia Natural Park. We arrive there under the grayness, with a very chilly wind. Not great for photos, but the buildings and rock formations so often seen in photograph have their little effect under a nice dusting of snow. We manage a first sighting between the main cities: Ürgüp, Ҫavuşin and Uchisar and of course, Göreme.

The first bivouac will be by the roadside, after getting scared when looking for a spot accessible by a muddy path: phew, we avoided getting stuck in the mud for a 2nd time!

A little climbing in the troglodyte houses in the early morning. It is crazy how a bit of sun can change a landscape: more contrasts, and the pink maroon of the day has turned to ocher and golden.

We make a first tour of the agencies for information on THE tourist attraction of the area: the balloon flight! The conditions will remain a priori unfavorable for the next 2-3 days, but there might be an opportunity on Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, we should find something to keep us busy: panoramic views, small hikes, innumerable caves and troglodyte houses to explore, the potential is enormous. Might as well take advantage of the small crowd: especially Chinese tourists who navigate between coaches and their hotels, tourist spots and other activities (quad, horse riding…). We will settle for the night away from Pasabucaği, one of the privileged places to observe the fairy chimneys.

The next two days will be calm: obviously, with 2 (Edrian and Ntyalé) out of 3 being KO (probably a cold snap), the sound level is no longer the same! Staying warm most of the time, with some flea jumps for grocery shopping, strolling around, and change of bivouac.

Last tour in the agencies on Sunday: yesss! Business resumes tomorrow, they are all on the phone to organize and make up as much as possible for the shortfall of the last days. A few tries to negotiate the prices (little room for maneuver though), and our 2 places are reserved for the next morning. But what about the children? They will be able to stay warm in the shuttle during the flight.

We are at the rendezvous point at dawn: the ballet of the shuttles full of tourists and 4 * 4 carrying hot air balloons intensifies. What it must be in summer! We see the first balloons in the air in a clear sky and no wind. Whew, they have not forgotten us, and we have just enough time to say goodbye to the kids and to give them a little cartoon session when arriving at the take-off site.

Here we go for an hour in the air, with some sixty other balloons: almost 3 times less than during the average summer, but it’s still quite a sight! We get close to the rocks before climbing gently up to 1900 meters. EX-TRA! Release of the drone during the flight, just to spice things up a bit: launch, video, then a big fright at the moment of recovery (oops the flight was about to get very expensive), but it was worth it, the rendering of the video is going to be great!

After a landing on a slightly out-of-the-way piece of land, we find the children (who were starting to feel that it was taking too long), and leave Göreme a little later, delighted.

Heading north to discover a small piece of the Black Sea…

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