Great Adventure

Cappadocian Adventures from Earth to Sky

by Alison Weissbrot

Daily balloon ritual in Cappadocia. All photos by Karen Bianchi.

CAPPADOCIA, Turkey – California-based photographer Karen Bianchi wanted an adventure. What was she hoping to find? A new culture, a rich history, and some otherworldly scenery. It's no wonder she was lured to Cappadocia.

A timeworn city in the Anatolian region of Turkey, Cappadocia's rocky landscape (sculpted from thousands of years of wind and rain) has resulted in structures referred to as "fairy chimneys" by the locals. The mystical topography has inspired a sunrise tradition: Each morning, 80 to 100 balloons soar through the sky, putting on a display of airborne beauty.

Karen explored Cappadocia's quaint hotels and restaurants, nestled right into the city's cliffs; she learned the art of Turkish pottery-making from a local guru; and, of course, she sailed away on a magic hot air balloon ride. 

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