My Beautiful Balloon Ride

I am hopeful that after today, I can finally be done my latest earworm. I thought it was only the Sahara that gave me earworms, but I have had one this week because of the hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia this morning. Cue “Up, Up and Away” by the Fifth Dimension. Over and over and over. I even infected my fellow travelers with it. I don’t understand why they groaned when I sang a few bars, but it’s true. Hard to believe that song won the Grammy for Song of the Year as well as Best Contemporary Song. That was way back in 1967. Sometimes, just for a change, my brain adds that little “scritch scratch” you hear when you first put the needle on the vinyl. Scritch scratch scritch scratch “Up, up and away/My beautiful balloon, my beautiful balloon.”

I caught my van ride to the balloon launch site along with the other couple in our group at 4:25 this morning. This was their second hot air balloon ride. (They had an incredible ride over the Serengeti last year when they were in Africa for a great migration safari. We watched the video on his phone and it was magnificent.) This morning, we watched as they filled the balloon with air, then turned on the propane heater and heated the air. Before long, we were aloft! It was thrilling to float over the otherworldly landscape of Turkey’s Göreme Valley at sunrise. It was a wonderful experience made even nicer because we had a really soft landing. Here are some of my photos from the sunrise balloon ride.


Balloon being filled with air.


Heating the air.


We had our own little corner of the basket.


We have lift off!


Nice morning for a ride.


This cute little guy came trotting up to the basket as soon as we landed. I can only assume that people often feed him whatever they have when they land, so he was expecting treats and snacks.


Apparently, it’s traditional to have champagne after a balloon ride. However, it’s not traditional for me to have champagne at 6:35 AM, so I was glad that it was sparkling pomegranate juice.


  1. Melinda Young on May 12, 2023 at 3:03 pm


  2. Sarah Guida on May 12, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    So Beautiful! You can mark “hot air balloon” ride in Turkey off of your “bucket list”! The weather looked perfect for your latest adventure.

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on May 12, 2023 at 3:37 pm

      I would do it again over the Serengeti during the great migration.

      • Pam Morgan on May 13, 2023 at 2:04 pm

        Why not!

        • Ruth Anne Lawson on May 13, 2023 at 2:36 pm


  3. Kathleen Linn on May 12, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Breath taking! Where was Rick?

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on May 12, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      Rick was sleeping in. Not a fan of hot air balloons.

  4. Donna Keel Armer on May 12, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    I’ve never seen so many balloons go up together. Where was Rick? What fun!

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on May 12, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      I’m not exaggerating – these folks have it nailed. It’s a well oiled machine. Rick isn’t a fan of hot air balloons. He made me a cup of coffee and sent me on my way!

  5. Elizabeth Mathias on May 12, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Like you are floating away in a giant Japanese lantern! So beautiful.

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on May 12, 2023 at 4:03 pm

      Funny that you say that! We are in Izmir now, heading to Ephesus tomorrow. Dinner tonight was on the shore of the Aegean and one of those lanterns floated by. They are so beautiful!

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