The ‘Rise’ of Cappadocia

Some places in the world simply do feel like they exist from a storybook. Whether its timber-framed chalets, Mediterranean towns that cling to the side of a coastal cliff, or in this case, an enchanting city whose sky is adorned with vibrant flecks of none other than incandescent air balloons, each place captures a different aspect of beauty that makes it like no other. This alone is truly ethereal.

Cappadocia, a region in the country of Turkey, is widely known for its deep history, distinctive rock formations, and of course, bright hot air balloons who scatter above the city like inspired clouds. Every year, people from all over the world come to see these extravagant features in the flesh, hoping to create the memory of a lifetime. Coming from the Persian word Katpatuka, meaning land of the beautiful horses, the area was well known for their gifts as well as tribute to horses to ancient Assyrian and Persian royalty. Back in ancient times while the region was under Persian rule, horses were partly used for payments such as taxes. These animals are still valued to this day and are an alternative method of transportation.

The Cappadocia region dates to ancient times, for it was formed around sixty million years ago due to the erosion of soft layers and ash sourced near volcanoes. One of the most extravagant occurrences in the area are the unique formations of rock, called “fairy chimneys,” which are long, thin, mushroom-like pillars of rock. This geographical phenomenon is present due to volcanic eruptions and once more the long process of water or wind erosion. In fact, back in the 3 rd century, human settlements used these structures as shelters and temples! There have been populations in Cappadocia since the Palaeolithic era ever since the region had been formed by natural occurrences.

Fairy chimneys were not the only form of abode; rock-cut architectural buildings serving purposes such as living or work areas, churches, and monasteries were also present. So far about six-hundred churches have been discovered, followed by many more that have not been found yet. These can still be seen today and are prevalent around the region, contributing to the enchanting atmosphere of Cappadocia. They are a popular place for modern day events too; music concerts are held in the cave structures, for instance the Cappadocia music festival which features orchestras and choirs, lasting one week long! At least underground cities also populate in the region, connected by a system of tunnels; some even allow visitors to explore their depths and rich culture.

Along with this, this part of Turkey has a long history of grape farming, produced to make wine that is unique to the area. There are various places where tourists can participate in sampling the wine, some of which have won international awards.

But of course, Cappadocia’s picturesque ambiance cannot be fulfilled with no other than their iconic hot air balloons. Passengers can view the gorgeous settlements from above and of course the warm, amber sky whether its at sunrise or sunset. Tours happen around the clock with an option to book a tour starting from one hour, exploring what the area has to offer. One can fly in smaller groups as well, or simply with your own party. These explorations are perfect for special occasions: anniversaries, proposals, honeymoons birthdays, and more. Not only do these options cause the trip to reach new heights, but they also truly create an unforgettable experience. It offers an alternative view on how Cappadocia is perceived on ground, from the cave-carved villages, fairy chimneys, or the mere valleys of the region, one can admire these ordeals from at least nine-hundred metres above the earth! But sometimes it is just as special to witness the balloons themselves, as they suspend into the atmosphere like large luminant lanterns. With flights that take off every day, people in the town can still see their splendour from down below; regardless of being in a balloon or not the surroundings will always be a beauty. There are suggested places where people can spectate the scenery as dawn or dusk breaks; visitors are still able to grasp the magnificence of Cappadocia on foot or flight.

Sometimes the most cherished moments in life are the experiences like no other. Or perhaps the mere appreciation of the world and its natural beauty. Sometimes it’s the individual atmospheres and feelings in a place that makes it even more like a fairy-tale; one’s outlook, appreciation, and the magic felt within of these places that inspire the person to be sincerely aware of the present exquisiteness around them.