Published: Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 30, 2014 at 3:08 p.m.
Is it a dream or have we stepped into a painting by Salvador Dali? We are floating in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia, the moonscaped, mystical region of Central Turkey. Up and away before dawn, we are drifting over a surrealistic terrain formed by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and erosion. We travel on one of the dozens of balloons that carry awe-struck visitors over this land — a sanctuary to civilizations from the Hittites to the early Christians. Thousands have carved the soft stone into cave homes, fortresses, underground cities and churches. Today, farmers still use the cool caves to store fruits and vegetables, and the conical stone “fairy chimneys,” chiseled by erosion, sometimes find purpose as homes or shops or pigeon roosts. An hour in the sky and then it is over. On the ground, we raise a glass of champagne to the journey, ready to ascend again.
Jacki Levine is editor of Gainesville Magazine.
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