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Balloons Landing in Cappadocia

August 17, 2013 | | By Kevin Read

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Every morning in Cappadocia, Turkey, hundreds of hot air balloons take off and float over the strange rock formations and ancient dwellings. The wind determines everything, so the route (and the take-off and landing sites) for the balloons is always different. The flights start early in the morning for the calmest winds, and fly for 1 or 2 hours.

From a ridge at the other side of a valley, I stood and watched the balloons, taking hundreds of pictures as they floated by. On the ground, everything is quiet this early in the morning, so every few seconds you can hear the rush of a burner from the baskets.

Some passed by close enough to touch, but these balloons were landing around a small village several miles away. Each one is guided in by a ground crew, which tracks the balloons around the area and heads them off as they come in for landing.

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