I am fortunate to have very curious children who love discovering new things. As they enjoy it, it’s fun showing them new views, cultures, art, and so on and often discovering things myself for the first time as well. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have kids that prefer spending their days in a museum then in front of the Wii or running around in the park but they will give the museum a chance or they will try something for a first time and hopefully become openminded interested adults one day.
When I by chance ended up on the blog 52BrandNew I realized it would be fun to share the experiences as I loved reading the fun experiences of mom Danielle and her two children Luke and Leah. She planned to share 52 new experiences with her children for one year and blog about them. It is inspiring and gives great ideas too.
Hot air balloon in Cappadocia
One of my greatest experiences with one of my children was a hot air balloon ride with my eldest daughter. My two sons where too young at the time and not allowed to fly. Even though the boys did not share the flying experience, they did enjoy the scenery of this incredible place we were though: Cappadocia in Anatolia in Turkey. It’s such a wonderful region. It’s like if you are walking around in a Science fiction movie. Remember the movie Dune? It’s a bit like that but weirder. It’s such a special magical place, I (together with loads of Japanese tourists) think it’s one of the top 10 must sees in the world.
Anyway there are lots of balloon rides organized there so while holidaying you continuously see them flying by. It’s a pretty view, very colorful. I was not very serious, actually I was not even really asking a question, when I said to my daughter: “wouldn’t it be fun to do a balloon flight one day?”. And she went: “Yeah! Let’s go tomorrow!”. And I went “Oh great ok”. These are those moments you realize you should think before you talk cause seriously I was scared sh*t to get in one of those things!!
We flew with Kapadokya Balloons. They offer sponsored balloon rides, “fly Coca Cola”, and regular ones which did not matter to me at all and it makes a big price difference so I booked us a sponsored balloon ride. Another company which seemingly is very good as well is the Goreme balloons. We have been very happy with Kapadokya so no regrets there for us anyway.
A bit nervous
My daughter seemed to have completely forgotten we would be flying the next day and slept like a baby. Unlike me: I was really nervous and I was even more nervous my daughter would be able to see how nervous I was. So in the morning, actually in the night the driver from Kapadokya comes to fetch you at the hotel. I think it was about 4h30. The idea is that you fly at sunrise which is really pretty but also really cold! Make note: if you go for a balloon ride dress very warmly.
So she and I where all sleepy in the car together with the other people who would go on the ride. We were 14 all together and she was the only child. When we arrived at the take off spot the cold woke us right up. The balloons still had to be blown up and there it was. The basket. It was right at that moment I realized I was taking my kind up in the sky in a freaking basket!
Ok, relax. She was jumping up and down and looking at all those balloons, as there were different companies flying out at the same moment and the site of all these balloons getting blown up was stunning. The sun was rising, the light was beautiful, it was quite an unrealistic site. So we got in the basket, me all smiley and all, going I’m so relaxed. Tattoo all excited. The balloon took off and started to go up..and up…and up…
High up in the air
The British pilot had a great sense of humor and made us all laugh while explaining how a hot air balloon works and what we were going to encounter in the next hour and a half. I had by then forgot all my fears as it was so incredibly pretty. The landscape in the region is so special and seeing it from the sky is even more incredible and impressive.
In the sky there is kind of a strange beautiful silence and then there is the noise of the fire heating the air. Even more then in a plane for example, you really feel carried by the air and (logically…) much more connected with the nature around you.
My daughter enjoyed the site of the other balloons even more then the landscape itself. She didn’t really want to look down either, she found we were “really really high, mom, is he going to go even higher?”. Yes he was. He went so high, it was so special. My daughter was busy making pictures of her troll-doll against sky backgrounds and looking at the other balloons and I was enjoying the landscape down down down there. It was such a special experience for us both. She really loved it even though she was attracted by other stuff then me. While I was looking at the landscape she was looking at the fire in the balloon.
1,5 hours can be quite long for a child but she did not get bored for a minute. She got worried a few times as she couldn’t believe how high up we were “mom, mom, we’re higher then all the other balloons!” but she enjoyed the experience tremendously and still speaks of it often.
Back on the ground
Once we landed all smooth and fine, the balloon had to be folded and therefore the air had to be emptied. As she was the only little girl she got extra attention from the staff and could help out with emptying the air by jumping and sitting on the balloon. She really loved that. Maybe even more then the flying. She also was all happy and proud when she got a diploma at the end saying she had been on a hot air balloon ride.
The whole thing was a great experience for my daughter and myself as well, as I enjoyed it too and would fly again without any hesitation or anxiety. It was so nice to share something new for us both. It’s one of these memories we’ll always carry with us, you know: the priceless stuff!