Taking To The Skies



It Is Flashback Friday, with a post from January 2015.

I am noted for my frugality. I make no apologies, and for the most part have no regrets about pinching pennies.

Mind you, my idea on what is worth spending money on has changed a little bit over the years. In 1986 I was in Paris for the first time, and like any good tourist went straight to the Eiffel Tower. I took lots of pictures from ground level, but didn’t pay to go up to get a bird’s eye view of the city. I was too cheap. Or at least that is the way I view it now.

The whole story is more complicated. It was my first visit to the continent (I had been to England before) and funds were limited. I was a full-time student, married and maintaining two residences because Vivian was working in another city and coming home on weekends. The trip to Europe was so I could meet those of her German relatives that I still hadn’t met after two years of marriage. We didn’t have money to spare for non-essentials.


If I were to return to Paris today I am sure I would pay for the elevator ride to the top of the Tower, though I am also sure I would grumble at the exorbitant cost. As I get older though, I find myself more willing to pay those extra fees. Maybe I have mellowed a bit, or maybe it is just that I no longer travel on a student budget.

All of which is to explain the balloon ride.

When my friend Mike and I decided to go to Turkey for a week last year, he left all the planning to me. He’d been there on business before but not for pleasure. The trip was his idea, but he didn’t want to be bothered with the details; he would just show up for the flight and take whatever happened next.

I knew very little about Turkey, other than what I had learned from my son, who lived there during his third year of university as part of a study-abroad program. Therefore I knew that Cappadocia was on the list of places I wanted to visit.


It was Vivian who suggested the balloon ride, a suggestion I immediately dismissed. Too expensive, and who wants to be up at the crack of dawn on vacation? (Okay, I’m an early riser, I’m up then anyway. I was thinking more about Mike. I know now that it doesn’t make a difference in Turkey – if you are near a mosque you will be woken by the call to prayer at that hour anyway. And you are always near to a mosque.)

To humour her I looked at the cost for a balloon ride. That strengthened my resolve. I had booked us into a modest hotel. An hour aloft was going to cost the equivalent of a week`s accommodation for the two of us! I’m way too frugal to spend money so frivolously!

Vivian convinced me however that it would be money well spent. Her thinking was that the occasional luxury is not unreasonable. After traveling that far (with the attendant costs of getting there) it made sense to spend the extra money. I asked my son what he thought. He after all hadn’t taken the balloon flight when he visited Cappadocia. Turns out he had wanted to, but he was on a student budget and it was just too much money. I suspect for him there will be a next time, at my age it is less likely – though I want to return.

So, going against my natural inclinations I booked the flight, which you had probably figured out by the pictures accompanying today’s post.


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