Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Lot of Hot Air

Physics say when you blast air with some heat, it rises.

Even as you gently cook your sunnyside eggs in the pan, the heated air over it rises bringing along the wondrous aroma of breakfast into the bedrooms of their sleeping occupants... provided the doors are open, that is.

If not, then you get reminded of NATO: No action, tidor only

Hello there veterans, it's a bright and sunny Sunday and  the air is already warming up outside (well, it was when I wrote that this morning).

These thoughts of hot air conjures up similarly warm and happy memories of an action-filled time we (the hubby and our two young ladies) had in Turkey last July, not least riding in a hot air balloon.

After that experience I can say now I know how a feather feels floating haplessly in the sky.

Because somehow it felt just like that, no wind in your face, no undertow currents tugging at you... just a nice dreamy floating feeling as we took in the scenery a thousand feet below us, from a basket filled with I think 18 others.

It took place in Goreme in the Cappadocia region of Central Turkey, an area of very interesting albeit arid terrain.

Early morning was when we lifted off before the cold desert air gets warm because balloons depend on the difference in temperature of the air inside it vs. outside for buoyancy.

First the preparations to inflate the balloon.

And then all aboard! Lightweights on one end and the one heavyweight at the other.

Some blastings of propane gas and we have lift-off... 

followed by a feast for the eyes...

Cappadocia is settled on a high, dry plateau in the middle of Turkey. The region is one of hot, dry summers and cold, sometimes snowy, winters. Ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed this region with thick ash, which solidified into a soft rock—called tuff—tens of meters thick. Wind and water went to work on this plateau, leaving only its harder elements behind to form a fairy tale landscape of cones, pillars, pinnacles, mushrooms, and chimneys, which stretch as far as 130 feet  into the sky. 
(From National Geographic)

These are volcanic rock formations called fairy chimneys and typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements.
(From Wikipedia)

Hokay... after an hour thereabouts, our skilful pilot took us back to solid ground

 The shadow of our descending balloon

We landed right smack on a farm trailer. Thank God the heavyweight was still flexible enough to lift herself onto the basket's  edge to get off.

Feathers no more

Our fellow passengers

I do like hot air come to think of it, both that we fly with and that we generate in the kitchen.

And quick look at the clock tells me it's time to produce more of the latter.

Up, up and awaaaay....


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, Holy Smoke! You've been up in a balloon?
Wow! I've always wanted to go up in one, belum lagi.
Very often in the Fall might see a few gently floating past above our place......can hear the sounds of that hot 'blast....

Love the pics, compliments to the photographer....
And that scenery is fantastic....I saw one on Lonely Planet docu of a balloon floating in the wilds of Africa, Kenya I think....seeing wild animals below.

You looking great, Zendra....
Have a great week.

Zendra-Maria said...

It was an exquisite experience indeed Lee, fresh air, fascinating scenery, floating up high to see way beyond our usual horizon and then getting down into ancient volcanic craters to look at the top of the fairy chimneys... it was worth saving up for. Those who got there earlier got to watch the sunrise even, and oh yes, be prepared for standing-room only and no toilets in the basket.

You must do this Lee, I highly recommend it. By the way it's normal practice everywhere that they serve all balloon riders champagne after - which of course we graciously turned down :)

ariffatri said...

Wow untie, such a nice and wonderful fact the places are so beautiful....

Zendra-Maria said...

Bertuah rasa auntie dapat tengok just a little bit of Allah's creations, Ariff. Terasa kerdil...

Anonymous said...

Though being up in a balloon will provide me with the perfect vantage point for photography, I seriously doubt if I have the courage to go up in one.

Zendra-Maria said...

Dear Boe, if only we had photographers like you on our ride, our photos would have been so amazing. May I suggest you put hot-air ballooning on your bucket list, seriously.

Yaseen Abbas said...

That amazing and perfect path I found for trekking. Great. Great Post. thanks for sharing.