Well, what can I say...
The time is now 07:45; we got back from our hot air balloon trip over an hour ago and I still haven't come down from my high yet! It was just unreal... The fulfilment of a lifelong dream... And in one of the most wonderful settings imaginable! Floating over fabulous 'fairy chimney' rock formations, we saw the sunrise, the second-largest mountain in Turkey, vineyards, the Unesco World Heritage Site and an ancient town we'll be seeing from ground level later today, bare hills and enscarpments and last but not least, lots of other balloons. The sight of the sky filled with colourful hot air balloons is something I've always dreamed of seeing.
The balloon pilots were clearly extremely skilful, able to use the flame and manipulate what wind there was to go within only a few metres of the ground at some points, getting us close up to the World Heritage Site for example, before rising up again. The highest we got was 650 metres (on weekdays they can't go any higher due to aeroplane flight paths; at weekends they can go up to 800 metres).
Our balloon flight lasted an hour and two minutes (the main pilot told us) and we landed in a harvested cornfield close to Göreme. We were given champagne - it was the first champagne I've ever had that I've actually liked, because I could actually taste the grapes and I couldn't taste the underlying tannins or whatever it is that usually turns me off wine in general. We also got a beautiful flight certificate each.
Time for our second breakfast now... (our first breakfast was at about 04:30, part of the balloon trip deal). Then on for a day tour of the local surroundings!