Ballooning Part 2


We have not crashed into a tree.  Like we said, we are able to get really up close and personal with the valley.  Here we are doing some exploring in a manner that allows us to literally pick fruit from the trees.  All the while Lars keeps an eye out ahead, with his hand on the gas.










In the next instant Lars leans on the throttle and we are way up there.  So high that we are almost feeling uneasy, as we sit suspended in nothing but a wicker basket.









Peering over the edge and wondering what it would be like to fall from such a height.









One of the most distinctive types of rock formations in Cappadocia are those that look amazingly, and amusingly, phallic in nature.  Here some are, as seen from high above.










As seen from a balloon while suspended virtually on a valley floor, here are a church and monastery carved into the tufa stone.  This region is home to dozens of such churches and monasteries (established beginning in the 1st century when the area was Christian in nature, and not Muslim as it is now), many with wonderfully preserved frescoes.









Coming in for a perfect landing.  Lars and Kaili never know quite exactly where the wind will take them.  So we are followed from the ground by their "chase team" that keeps in contact with the balloon via radio.  As the ride draws to a close and a landing site looks likely, the chase team races to the site.










The balloon as it slowly is deflated.







At the end of the ride we enjoy a traditional champagne toast, all displayed so wonderfully (arranged principally by Sue, in the lavender to the far left).  To the left is the crew: Sue, Kaili, Lars, Hussayn, and Topdek (sorry guys about butchering the spellings).  To the right, the crew with the happy passengers.









The following day we had the opportunity to be part of the ground crew.
See Ballooning Part 3.




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