Initially we were likely going to book with Butterfly or Royal Ballons, but because we trusted Ilker Sen from Hotel Nazar (you can see my review), we went with Urgup Balloons. Not only was it more reasonably priced, but we had a fantastic experience! It is true that you cannot chose a balloon company purely based on number of passengers because different size balloons carry different number of passengers. We were in a smaller balloon (I think max passengers 12) and we had a total of 10 people. Other balloons were larger and carried a proportionately larger number of people, but noone looked overloaded.
We were picked up at 4:20am from our hotel and taken to the main office. There was tea, coffee, cookies, and bread for small snacks. We were gathered into groups (go Black balloon!), and then taken by van to the balloons in Rose valley. The balloons were already being inflated and we did not spend much time at all waiting. Maybe not even 10 minutes! It was cool to watch the process though and take pictures. We then were helped into the balloon and off we went! Our pilot was Levent, who was absolutely fabulous. Flawless English with a great sense of humor. He spun the balloon around so everyone could see every view. We even spent several minutes in the middle of Love valley at THE prime location (every other balloon was trying to head to our spot). 45 min - 1 hour later (I do not know the exact time, but felt it was plenty), we landed perfectly onto the trailer! So impressed that Levent was able to land on such a small target!. After we celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne (which I am so grateful for -- who wants to combine sleep deprivation with alcohol at 6:30 in the morning?) We were then taken back to the hotel (about 7am) with some time for nap before heading out again on tours.
I also want to thank Urgup balloons for being flexible. We had originally booked them for the day immediately after we arrived, but then our flight was delayed, and after being drug around all of Cappadocia by a shuttle driver who did not know where our hotel was, we didn't get in until 1:30am! The prospect of having less than 3 hours of sleep was so daunting, but Urgup balloons answered our hotel's call and agreed to let us push back our reservation with no hesitation.
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