Füsun A.



Montréal, CANADA
January 12
Freelance Writer - jack of all genres;master of none.
warm and genuine
I divorced my full time career of teaching after 25 years, because meanwhile I fell in love with freelance writing. Ever since, I decided to legitimize my ten-year fling which started in the new millennium. Author of: "WILL OF MY OWN - A Memoir" Available at all major book outlets. For a preview please visit: http://www.dictionmatters.com/


AUGUST 2, 2012 10:00AM

High above Cappadocia

Rate: 89 Flag



Our much anticipated balloon ride over Cappadocia was scheduled for 4:30 am on Friday, July 13th. We had to be up and ready half an hour earlier to be picked up from our cave hotel to which our arrival the previous night from Ankara was delayed. Already tired from an eight hour bus ride, although the ride itself was extremely comfortable with service that surpassed those on Transatlantic jets, and hyped up with the most anticipated part of our agenda, my son questioned if it was worth sleeping at all just for three hours.

a cave inn hotel in urgup

I reminded him that immediately after the balloon adventure, we were scheduled for a 9-5 excursion taking in Nevsehir, Göreme, and the Avanos Valley; eight ancient cave churches, a ceramic factory, and a carpet making factory. We needed some rest! I knew they had been looking at this part of our travel for months and it would be the highlight of their summer, if not their lives so far. Inspite of his anticipation and restlessness, E. set his travel alarm and we abandoned our tired bodies on the comfortable beds in our cozy coves.

a cave hotel room

Seeing Cappadocia spread out below you with all its magnificent canyons, valleys, fairy chimneys, and cave dwellings is an experience that challenges translation into words. Especially at sixty-seven hundred feet above the earth, before the sun has risen, and the fresh air has a nip that will be devoured shortly when the intense dry heat will start licking one's skin. At our point of departure, our multilingual Portuguese-born pilot briefed us on a few safety tips and we, along with the other 21 passengers hopped into the basket. The excitement was palpable as we were airborne.

Within minutes of our lift off, Cappadocia skies were dotted with dozens of colorful hot hair balloons, rising freely at dusk towards a new dawn.



aerial view2


aerial view3

The view below was mesmerizing, surreal – nothing like it exists anywhere else in the world! What powerful hand or ingenuous mind could design something so spectacular? I'm certain questions like this and the like were flooding the others' minds while they kept on taking photo after photo of each magnificent scene as if everyone, in a desperate effort, was racing to capture as much of this treasure as possible in the rush of our collective, airborne high.

I know I did.

aerial view


aerial view4

The only sound was the occasional release of fire to maintain hot air keep us afloat. Pilot Santos wanted to practice his Turkish with me but then we reverted to French and joined in conversation with a couple from Provence. My daughter was pointing something to her brother and he immediately responded by focusing his lens on it.

panoramic Cappadocia

The area known today as Kapadokya, is made up of the towns of Aksaray, Kayseri, Kirsehir, Nevsehir, and Nigde ; and takes up about 300 square kilometres. Kapadokya Valley was formed 10,000 years ago following the latest eruption of three volcanoes: Argeus, Göllüdag, and Hasan Dagi. The ash and lava from these volcanoes covered hundreds of other mountains before they started cooling and formed into soft tufa (too-fah) layer. Over hundreds of years erosion of the tufa layer, which at certain points reached as high as 150 metres, started exposing layers of the harder basal rocks. It is these formations which we know today as Fairy Chimneys or Peri Bacalari.

fairy chimneys2


fairy chimneys





I often wondered about the nomenclature, but having seen them so many times, I finally accept that perhaps only fairies with super human powers could have built such spectacular marvels.

Cappadocia, The Land of beautiful Horses, is considered to be a work in progress, because the area is geologically still evolving ever since 60,000,000 years ago. A sad note is that there will come a day in far, far future when the beautiful Fairy Chimneys, that we gaze upon so fondly today, will be no more. Winds and Mother Nature's other naughty children will have eaten them away and left only a few crumbs.

It is beyond difficult to conceptualize such a time, but viewed within the context of a larger plan, the idea is just one more reminder of our insignificance in the middle of this vast universe.

flifgt certificates

All words and images are the intellectual property of Füsun Atalay© 2012
Location: Cappadocia, TURKEY

Füsun Atalay ~ Author of  Will of my Own - 2009

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Just one of the many incredible journeys of a lifetime, I highly recommend this to anyone whoo plans to visit Turkey. The cave Inns are another story on their own with their unique and individual charms.
Love your account of the trip and the pix are fantastic. Way to go!
Amazing images. Great post.
Amazing. Love the interior shot of the hotel. The balloon ride photos are awesome.
Mesmerizing and surreal, indeed! What a unique and haunting landscape--and your photos aren't bad either. Thanks for introducing us to this area I had never even heard of. [r]
The whole trip must be mesmerizing, especially by balloon site. We have hot air balloons in northern Phoenix, but our little mountains up there are not as beautiful. On a reservation in New Mexico is Tent Rocks, I suspect a similar geological formation but at a different age of geology. In the white fluffy sand is scattered natural glass tektites, called Apaches Tears. It is definitely another world to be there.
What a wonderful spiritual and physical high that sounds like! Magnificent pictures! Rated.
Tamar has been in such a balloon. I'd love to try! r.
Beyond words. I'll just look at this for a while and dream. R.
Korner Soapbox, Sparky, Jonathan : Thank you for visiting.

Boanerges: Thank you for the link you sent me. The hotels are very unique all decorated individually with kilims and carpets woven in the area, and ceramics produced there as well.

Donegal: You picked the right words to describe it. I'm happy to introduce you to a place you'd not heard of before.

j.h. robbins, Trudie: Thanks.
Thanks, once again, for taking us all to such special places...
This trip just keeps getting better and more beautiful. What memories you've given to your kids.
The Land of the beautiful Horses, hmm? I could live there.
Excellent account of a most fascinating travel.
Breath-taking - thank you Fusun
Oryoki: I find a different beauty in New Mexico (haven't been to Phoneix). Cappadocia dates back to Paleolithic age, 60 million years ago, and covers many ages from then on. Geology and such sites are truly fascinating in their own rights. Thank you for your visit.
Rob, jlsathre: Thanks. The memories I shared with my son and daughter will live on as a big bond among us.

andrew boyd: I guess you must be a horse lover. Today there are more camels in Cappadocia than horses, though.
Fusun, you are so right, a ballon travel must be one of the most amazing journeys, and your images talk about it, in such an incredible way. Thank you for giving to all of us the chance, both to see your country, and to be in such a unique travel. So many rates, with so many thank you for sharing!!
What an incredible visual and conceptual contradiction--the balloons soaring over those tufa turrets! Thanks for sharing these--another bucket list item!
Each new post is surpassing the previous one, Fusun. You have a captured audience in me, and I didn't miss that reference to good old Mr Shakespeare. How clever! Rated.
Oh, beauty beauty beauty!! What a wonderful vacation! Happy for you, Fusun!! I used to write with a young man from Turkey on an early chat board, ICQ. We did music shares, and he sent me many pictures. But - nothing like this! All I saw was white, palatial homes aside white, hot, sprawling beaches! Guess he was livin' the good life, eh? This essay is a wonderful glimpse into a secret place; thanks so for sharing!
Füsun Hanim,

Birazdan Iftar açacaz. Karinlarimiz aç ama gözlerimize mükemmel bir ziyafet çektik sayenizde. Sagolun. Saygilarimla.
My Esteemed Colleague:

A stunning pictorial! The photography is so beautifully composed--particularly the one that shows the other balloon below yours. I would also love to go to that hotel!

The photography and the wonderful written account would make a lovely book.
Soaringly beautiful. Thank you, FusunA.
Stathi: It gives me great pleasure and a deep sense of satisfaction to be appreciated by readers such as you, who truly appreciate art and histroy; and voice their thoughts sincerely. Thank you,my dear friend.

Sharon: Very nice seeing you after a long pause. I believe many OSers are putting this in their buckets as a wish. Hope you'll make it come true soon.

Booklover: I was wondering how long it would take for someone to catch my reference to one of my favorite Bards. Thank you for noticing.
Dear Songbird: Your comments sing to me. There are places as you describe too, but they can be found anywhere. I took photos of beautiful old villas covered in oleanders and hibiscus on Princes' Island which may be some of the places your friend shared with you.
I remember seeing photos of this region as a kid. Those images have stuck with me ever since, and I know one day I'll see them for myself. In the meantime, I must rely on people like you to keep the flame alive. Thanks!
Ayhan Bey: Siz de sagolun. Cenabi Hak tüm oruçlarinizi kabul etsin. Yorumlariniza kalpten tesekkürler.

Translation: Blessed fasting and heartfelt thanks for your comments.
Gorgeous! Your story photos should appear on Turkey's tourism site, for real. Everyone will want to go.
Esteemed Colleague: Thank you for your visit and the note of correction you sent. You will find so many lovely cave inns all over Cappadocia, it would be almost a difficult decision to decide on which one to pick.

Mary S: What a nice way to put it, thank you.

Procopious: You're welcome. When you go one day, you'll see the pictures did not justice to the real.

Bellwether: You're not far off. I made some contacts and have offers already.
Journeys are for sharing - thanks for sharing this one. Incredible photography!

Just beautiful! Rated!
Joy: What a deligthful surprise to see you! I agree and that's why I'm sharing. I hope you are on your own journey and will share it sometimes with us. Best to you.
Fusun, this is stunning! I don't even know what to compliment or thank you for, places I would otherwise never see I have now seen. Your photos are always lovely, I appreciate them even more because I have no knack for it. Hahaha, things even out when we have friends who can do what we cannot.

We may be insignificant but what good is the beauty of a fairy chimney without someone to enjoy it. Thank you for sharing more of your trip with us.
My God, these pictures and your description are absolutely magical. Thank you so very much for allowing us to come along with you on this balloon ride.
OMG! This is so magnificent! Wow, wow, wow. Thank you for posting this.
'Heure: You say the nicest things to make a girl feel good about her work. Thank you very much. It takes a special person to appreciate and express her appreciation as you have done, as everyone has done here today. And your point about our perceived insignificance is such a fresh and positive take over mine. You've come a long way,my dear lady!

David: I couldn't have better company than those here on this virtual trip, andknowing you like history, I'm glad you dropped in and enjoyed this post. Thank you, my friend.

Tink: Thank you, you dear pussy cat!
wonderful pics
i applaud your gallant ballon journey
I. Must. Go. Here. Cave hotel!!!!!
Once again many thanks for a visual and literary treat. Rated.
You're right about this being an incredible journey. Honestly, those pictures were jaw dropping. How fantastic that you were able to experience this along with your family. I loved your narrative as well. Thank you.
Breathtaking. Thank you for taking us with you. Rated. x
Chuck A. : Thank you. The balloon journey. . . it was a piece of cake, followed by champagne.

Stim: Must. Behave. In. Cave Hotel. Very. Nice.

Ted : Most welcome. Glad you enjoyed.

Christine: Thank you for coming along.
Thank you. Thank you. Oh, how I would like to travel there.
Perhaps tonight in a dream. :)
Astonishing. These are like dispatches from another planet that we ("mother nature's naughty children") share in the vastness of space and time. I'm going to my atlas now to see where this is exactly. Wanting to visit (and balloon over) it myself.
Marytkelly: Sharing such a unique experience with my son and daughter was my life's dream. I'm glad it is realized. I hoped your inner wonderful writer would appreciate the narrative. Thank you.
The cave hotel room looks so inviting. It must bee cool in there too. All the pics are fantastic, and the text is layered. Thank you. ~r~
Magnificent scenery told well. I myself have just landed after vacation and are trying to find myself between duties and artistic pleasures. :)
This is fascinating, Fusun; simply gorgeous. Thank you, and very well done. R
Ande: Sweet dreams my dear friend. I hope you enjoy your ride.

Daniel Rigney: There's much fascinating information on Cappadocia, its history, geology, and archaeology. My piece doesn't even brush the surface.

swallowtail: Yes, the thick cave walls keep the inside cool, although the rooms have air conditioning as well if guests prefer.

Blinddream: Ah, settling down from a vacation. . . That can be painful. :o)

Thoth: Welcome, mon Ami. Thank you for your visit.
Trudie Jackson said what I felt. Thanks for giving me the recipe for new dreams. Inspiring. Glad to have you back, Fusun.
Awestruck-thank you
Awestruck-thank you
Wonderful post and your images are amazing!
Fernsy: I had to go back to see what TJ said. I hope your dreams will come true very soon my dear. Like someone else once said to me: Never Give Up.

Jay Richer: Thank you, twice.
[r] Fusun, thanks for sharing this amazing journey with us. The shots are breathtaking ... profoundly breathtaking!!! How intrepid and proactive of you to embrace this amazing world and the paths you find before you and actively seek out.

As you talk about Nature's naughty children causing erosion, etc., I thought of mankind's insane adults causing such suffering and mayhem and destruction to humankind and nature. The Middle East and now Africa have been targeted by such avaricious monsters as war-addicted anti-human leaders of my own country. I am heartsick by what is going on.

Thank you for renewing my spirit with what is right with the world! best, libby xxx
Oh, what an enchanting place! I returned from a family vacation recently and although I enjoyed it very much, what we saw was nothing like these magical places. Thank you for sharing them with us. ~r
Gah! I just lost a long comment I wrote. So I'm just going to say what Libbyliberalnyc said. Mine were close to hers, something like that. Thanks very much. Rated.
Stunning! Absolutely stunning, Fusun!

What an adventure! The aerial shots are just amazing and so, too, are those amazing caves! I have never heard of them before. Wow. I can imagine just how mesmerising and surreal they are!
hilarad: Every vacation must have its own pleasures and memories, I'm sure. Especially when it's with family.

Cheshyre: It was. Thanks for coming along.

Emmrose: I lose comments sometimes too, or cannot paste them at all as it happened with my response to someone yesterday. Not to worry. What you wrote is fine. Thanks.
I had a photo I had found on the web as wallpaper for a couple of years, wondering where it was taken. It was of this strange, otherworldly landscape with brightly colored balloons floating above. It took me a while with Google to find that it was taken at Cappadocia. Thanks for more photos. This must have been an experience to treasure. R
Libby: I knew you'd appreciate this – the sensitive, creative person you are, I knew it. I love to see what you've read into my text and I sympathize with you against the avaricious, inhuman, war addicted monsters who lead not just your country but other countries as well. It's such a refreshing joy, a unique fortune to be grateful to find these jewels and try to see a good in a world that can seem pretty desolate and cold otherwise. I'm so glad I could share this with you. Thank you for dropping in. ♥
What a pleasure it's becoming to look forward to your posts. Enchanted.
Amazing photos Fusun. That's the sort of trip I would have loved to take when i was younger. But a few years ago I developed a mild case of vertigo and I doubt I would go up in a balloon. Thanks for letting me enjoy it vicariously.
What a breathtaking trip, Fusun, and such beautiful land formations! Thank you for sharing this.
Salut Fusun! I looked this at work and showed my colleagues, they were so incroyable at your photos. Very very nice all! Never saw anything like these.
Escrito: Do you still keep that picture as a desktop? Yes, this will be a most treasurable trip of my life for many reasons. Thanks.

d white: Why, thank you!

Abrawang: I just remembered that I suffer from occasional vertigo also. It never occurred to me when I planned the balloon ride, and it was such a smooth ride that I wasn't bothered at all. Now rolleer coasters I'm wiped out. There are also walking tours of most fascinating valleys and churches too.

clay ball: Land formations and the structures are very breathtaking indeed, yes. You're welcome.

GiGi: Salut à toi. Thanks, but aren't you supposed to be working at work? :o)
Stunning. Breathtaking. Superb.
Wow! A hot air balloon ride is definitely on my bucket list!
A totally fun, informative, and vicarious post! Great pics and descriptions. Thanks for taking time to put this all together.
Boy does this deserve front page, or what? Great photos!
Cappadocia is a real marvel and the pictures you have taken are marvelous. There so many lovely hotels in the area all unique. We were also very satisfied with Taskonaklar the Rocky Palace. It had both cave rooms and stone rooms and also a lovely garen with view.
Autumnrain: Thank you for all your adjectives.

Shanghai Baby: Then I hope your wish comes true soon.

Grif : You are very welcome, sir. This was an act of love for me. Thank you for your visit.

Road Runner: Thank you for your compliment. A longer piece is due out in September in a glossy magazine based in Phoeniz, AZ. so it doesn't matter if this is not on the cover.

Tolgaakr: I couldn't agree more. Thank you for sharing your views on Cappadocia which support mine.
Me and my fiance are saving up for our honey moon there. Coming April, must be good time, no?
What an amazing sight! Being in a hot air baloon is not something I have done, but your adventure and photos convince me I should!
This is just breathtaking. Thank you for taking us along!
H. Sellier: April would be perfect to honeymoon in Kapadokya! Spare 5-7 days not to rush.

Buffy: You'd love it. Definitely recommended.

Roger: Thank you for your visit and comments. Sharing is a pleasure.
Incredible shots, Fusun. I'm envious too as I've always wanted to take a balloon ride. The "cave hotel" is also quite something.
VA: Thanks. What made the balloon ride so fantastic was really the dramatic landscape that spread out 2000 metres below us.
Oh, Fusun, the fairy chimneys are just wonderful to see, as are the beautiful balloons against the gorgeous mountains. What a treat to read about your trip! It is seeing into a world that I didn't even realize existed, cave hotels and fairy chimneys! How wonderful for you and your children to have this time and adventure together. How lucky we are to see the beautiful photos and read your interesting descriptions!
Ahhhhh...the sight of such geologic splendors soothes my soul. Have you ever visited Bryce Canyon, in southern Utah? It is spectacular, and kind of similar in feeling to what I can see from your pictures. But it hasn't been carved out and settled the way the Cappadocia region is. I need to add Turkey to my 'bucket list'!
Fabulous photos and wonderful commentary. Thanks so much. Gotta get to Turkey!
These photos are nothing short of astonishing. Thank you for your kind words./r
Janice: It's just the place for an imaginative and talented artist like you to create wonderful books. I'm glad to share some of my experiences with you.

sarah brennan: No, I n ever visited Bryce Canyon. Cappadocia is a natural formation, it's not carved out by men, but men have settled in some parts of the caves turning them into fascinating dwellings. It's a must see for a photo buff like you.

Mary Ann: Thank you dear lady. I hope you get to see all these beautiful places.

Christine: My thanks to you for making time to come here.
I want to sleep in a cozy cave hotel! I want to ride in a hot-air balloon over a fairy land! All of this seems so wonderful, so perfect! R
So incredibly breath-taking!
Almost one year later, I know, but I wanted to comment. I was in Turkey last summer and will be there again this summer. I still won't get to go to Cappadocia unfortunately, but someday soon, I hope. From you photos it looks so magical. Beautiful stuff. And I love the cave hotel photos, too. Where else where you in Turkey?