June 24th, 2013: We get married in Estes Park, CO
June 24th, 2014: We eat a delicious French dinner in Fes, Morocco and a few days later celebrate our first wedding anniversary on a tour to the Sahara, where we rode camels and slept in a Bedouin tent in the middle of nowhere.
June 24th, 2015: I lose my iPhone, Logan ruins an electronic rental car leaving us stranded on a beach in Greece and we get into a huge fight (ahh, marriage). But I haven’t gotten to that lovely story yet. Lucky for us we had already “celebrated” our second wedding anniversary with a magical morning hot air ballooning over Cappadocia.
We knew that this was high on our priority list if we made it to Turkey and in order to save money for this expensive, but totally worth it, excursion we skipped Valentine’s Day and didn’t get anniversary presents for each other.
There are tons of operators in Goreme running hot air balloon trips and choosing one is an intimidating task, so I didn’t. What I did instead was wait until we got there to ask around and luckily for me I didn’t need to look and further than the front desk at our hotel. Our wonderful host (who had booked us our tour the day before) called around to the places she recommends and got us onto a tour with Turkiye Balloons.
Side note: if you ever go to Cappadocia you really should book ahead. We got really lucky there was any space left.
The shuttle showed up at 3:20 am (joy!) and took us the Turkiye office/building/not sure what to call it, where we and the other 100 or so ballooners that morning ate an uncomfortably early breakfast and sucked down some caffeine. After an hour or so we were instructed to get onto our designated buses (denoted by the color sticker you were given when the van driver picked you up). I don’t know if we paid more or just got lucky, but we ended up in easily the smallest group, with only like 12 other people (compared to other balloons with 20 people).
After a short drive to our launch spot right outside of Goreme we got to watch the balloon get filled with hot air.
Once the balloon was ready to go we climbed into the basket and the pilot and the balloon helper people got everything in position for take off.
We were in the air for a little over an hour and it was spectacular. We saw the sunrise.
Floated through valleys.
And admired the landscape (and other balloons) that surrounded us.
Back on the ground we were treated to a glass of champagne and a memento of the experience.
Hot air ballooning was honestly just as magical as we hoped it would be and we are so lucky and thankful we got to celebrate two years of marriage in such a unique and special way.