I stumbled off the bus at 4:30 am and into the cold crisp air of Cappadocia. Already – as the sun was just starting to peak over the mountains – hundreds of hot air balloons were beginning their slow drift across the valley.

Clutching my coffee and seeing our balloon gradually inflate, my apprehension started to set in. Will that thin piece of fabric really hold us up? Do these guys know what they’re doing? Am I crazy to climb into a picnic basket and be suspended 800 metres in the air?

Yes, yes and no. After a very quick safety briefing we were up and away. But it was nothing like I expected. With effortless grace, we slowly began drifting about a metre off the ground. Our skilled pilot manoeuvred us inches over the treetops. Down the valleys. Along its walls.

A balloon ride at Cappadocia is something to behold, and nothing to be underestimated. The wanderlust here is intense. Soon after take-off, the most spectacular visual combination of colour and scenery was about to unfold.

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